From The Washington Post
By Gerrit De Vynck and Rachel Lerman
Facebook, YouTube and Twitter all banned harmful covid-related misinformation as the pandemic took hold throughout the world. But the false claims are still proliferating...
“For a long time the companies tolerated that because they were like, ‘Who cares if the Earth is flat, who cares if you believe in chemtrails?’ It seemed harmless,” said Hany Farid, a misinformation researcher and professor at the University of California at Berkeley, referring to a long-standing conspiracy theory about airplane condensation trails. “The problem with these conspiracy theories that maybe seemed goofy and harmless is they have led to a general mistrust of governments, institutions, scientists and media, and that has set the stage of what we are seeing now.”
Hany Farid is Associate Dean and Head of School at the UC Berkeley School of Information.