Two Democratic lawmakers are calling on a number of major cable providers to take steps to combat misinformation on their platforms, specifically with regard to “right-wing media outlets” such as Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News Network (OANN).
Democratic California Reps. Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney on Monday sent letters to the executives of 12 major cable providers, including AT&T, Verizon, Roku, Amazon, Apple, Comcast, Charter, Dish, Cox, Altice, Alphabet, and Disney-owned Hulu, CNBC reported.
The letters blame the providers for allowing “misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and lies” and therefore contributing to the “radicalization of seditious individuals who committed acts of insurrection on January 6”
“Some purported news outlets have long been misinformation rumor mills and conspiracy theory hotbeds that produce content that leads to real harm,” the letter said. “Misinformation on TV has led to our current polluted information environment that radicalizes individuals to commit seditious acts and rejects public health best practices, among other issues in our public discourse.”
The letters also cite “experts” who argue that “the right-wing media ecosystem is ‘much more susceptible…to disinformation, lies, and half-truths,’” in this case coming from networks like Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN that the lawmakers claim “all aired misinformation about the November 2020 elections.”
They also accused the providers of “spreading misinformation related to the pandemic.”
They ask providers “what moral or ethical principles (including those related to journalistic integrity, violence, medical information, and public health) do you apply in deciding which channels to carry or when to take adverse actions against a channel?”
The lawmakers also ask the providers whether they have adopted policies to “monitor, respond to, and reduce the spread of disinformation” and whether they plan to carry networks like Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN.
Responding to the letters, Fox News told CNBC in a statement: “As the most-watched cable news channel throughout 2020, FOX News Media provided millions of Americans with in-depth reporting, breaking news coverage and clear opinion. For individual members of Congress to highlight political speech they do not like and demand cable distributors engage in viewpoint discrimination sets a terrible precedent.”
CNBC notes that none of the providers issued a response before the story was published.
The letters come ahead of a hearing the House Energy and Commerce Committee is set to hold Wednesday, called “Fanning the Flames: Disinformation and Extremism in the Media.”
Hey …. visit CNN sometime and ask yourself, “Would this be any different if it were produced by the Democratic party?” #DontTrustTheMedia
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Author: Damjan Tutarkov
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