COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, including Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna, lobbied Twitter and other social media platforms to set moderation rules that would flag purported COVID-19-related “misinformation,” according to Lee Fang, who reported on the latest “Twitter files.”
COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, including Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna, lobbied Twitter and other social media platforms to set moderation rules that would flag purported COVID-19-related “misinformation,” according to the latest installment of the “Twitter files.”
Published Jan. 16 on Twitter and in The Intercept by investigative journalist Lee Fang, the documents revealed efforts by lobbying groups, nonprofits and the German government to influence Twitter’s content moderation policies to more aggressively limit purported COVID-19 “misinformation.”
The lobbying efforts also focused on limiting social media posts that urged pharmaceutical companies to renounce their intellectual property rights over COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics to facilitate the development of low-cost generic equivalents, which would potentially have cost these companies billions of dollars in profits.
In releasing this installment of the “Twitter files,” Fang noted that he “was given some access to Twitter emails” and that the searches for these documents “were carried out by a Twitter attorney,” potentially limiting the information made available to him.
Big Pharma ‘lobbied social media to shape content around vaccine policy’
According to Fang, “the pharmaceutical industry lobbied social media to shape content around vaccine policy.”
One example came via BIO (Biotechnology Innovation Organization), described by Fang as “Pfizer & Moderna’s lobbying group.” Fang wrote that BIO “fully funded a special content moderation campaign designed by a contractor called Public Good Projects [PGP], which worked [with] Twitter to set content moderation rules around COVID ‘misinformation.’”…