Surgeon General’s Advisory: Confronting Health Misinformation

The Office of the Surgeon General has released an advisory titled, Confronting Health Misinformation: The U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory on Building a Healthy Information Environment, “urging all Americans to help slow the spread of health misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.”

The advisory gives guidance on what constitutes misinformation, and discusses the difference of intent between malicious spread of disinformation versus the general sharing of false or misleading information that may arise solely from people “raising a concern, making sense of conflicting information, or seeking answers to honest questions,” and how, either way, sharing false or misleading information can “undermine public health efforts.”

The report then disburses brief advice on how each sector of the American public can take action against the spread of misinformation, whether it be individuals, educators, health professionals, journalists, researchers, technology platforms, or governments.


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