Sunday, August 2, 2020


     The latest COVID conspiracy we are hearing is “The Infection Rates and Death Rates are exaggerated.  If an illness looks like COVID, whether or not it is, it is being reported as a COVID illness or death.”The confirmation of this claim is the infamous friend of a friend who works in a related medical field told them.
     Two questions come to mind: First, why does anyone want to believe this claim and second, is it true? Answer the second question first, What data are actually being reported and can we trust the source? Here is what Judy Melinek, MD, forensic pathologist and CEO of PathologyExpert Inc, says in her article How Accurate Is the Coronavirus Death Toll? (
     So which one is it? Are we undercounting or overcounting? Can we trust the numbers?
It's complicated. In the United States, most death investigation systems are funded and organized on a county basis across hundreds of agencies. Early in the pandemic, when testing was not readily available and community spread was present but not yet recognized, it is likely that, in some areas, patients with underlying disease and poor health may have died from undiagnosed COVID-19 infection. Other regions, the ones that responded to the outbreak by developing widespread testing, might be swabbing every decedent regardless of the circumstances of death, either as a public health screening program to gather data on community spread, or in order to protect morgue workers from infectious disease exposure during an autopsy.
     Regardless of the availability of testing at their disparate death investigation agencies,medical examiners and coroners across the country are guided by the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) guidelines for death certification. The NVSS guidelines state, 
"If COVID-19 played a role in the death, this condition should be specified on the death certificate." 
     In many cases, it is likely that it will be the underlying cause of death, as it can lead to various life-threatening conditions, such as pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). In some cases, survival from COVID-19 can be complicated by pre-existing chronic conditions, especially those that result in diminished lung capacity, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma. 

     So, pathologists don't certify deaths as due to COVID-19 based solely on a positive nasopharyngeal swab. We get a clinical history of shortness of breath, chest pain, fever,cough. Yes, it is possible that someone could be an asymptomatic carrier and die of heart disease -- but in those cases we would certify the cause of death as heart disease and document the COVID-19 infection as a significant contributing condition, for several reasons.

    Number one, COVID-19 can affect the heart (via myocarditis, pericarditis, or the formation of microthrombi). 

    Number two, it's possible that the death may not have happened without the stress on medical resources caused by the pandemic. People who would've survived heart attacks during normal times died without medical intervention because they couldn't make it to the hospital or because the hospital couldn't treat them in time to save them. 

     On some level it may be true that some natural-manner deaths being attributed to the virus could be seen as inflating the official COVID-19 numbers, but a failure to acknowledge and examine the pandemic's effect on the diagnosis and treatment of other natural deaths would also be problematic from a public health perspective.

     To quote Dr. Ed Donoghue, a forensic pathology colleague at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, "No matter how these deaths are currently being attributed, after this pandemic terminates, an excellent approximation of the true fatality rate of COVID-19 deaths can be made by the calculation of the excess mortality for the period
 Almost certainly, because of the scarcity of testing and other reasons, we will find that the number of COVID-19 deaths has been grossly underestimated."

So who is promoting that the Corona numbers are an exaggeration?
      In a report by FOXNEWS,Questions raised over accuracy of US coronavirus death toll provides examples stories of false attribution to COVID abound. However, the article says REAL evidence doesn’t make “the official reports.”  

     So what makes the actual numbers? From the TN Department of Health COVID-19 case is counted in the daily case count, demographics, and outcomes, if it classifiedas a confirmed or probable case. A confirmed case is someone who tested positive (via PCR test) for the virus that causes COVID-19.

     A probable case is someone who may have tested negative by PCR, tested positive by another type of test or may not have been tested at all, but has an illness consistent with COVID-19, and may have other risk factors. For example, a person is a close contact of a COVID-19 case and has a clinically-compatible illness, this person meets the criteria to be a probable case
The specimen collection date is the date someone's COVID-19 lab sample was collected. Due to lab turn-around time there may be delays between when a specimen is collected and a confirmed case is reported to the public. Unless otherwise stated, visualizations in this report use specimen collection date as it more accurately indicates when a patient was sick.

Where to get reliable COVID-19 data, now that the CDC doesn’t have it
      Hospitals now have to report their data to another federal agency, which won't be making the information public.

      Under the guise of streamlining data, the Trump administration has moved previously available COVID data on hospitalizations out of the public eye. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be compiling the data into a single database. But that database won’t be available to the public. 

     Though no one in the administration has commented on what they’ll do with the data, the sudden change and the fact that the database will be private has made plenty of researchers and public health experts skeptical that any stats coming out of HHS will be accurate.
    Republican or Democrat, Conservative or liberal, when it’s in any organization’s interest to have one particular outcome, we have to assume that they might lie or otherwise obscure the truthin order to achieve that goal. It’s especially important in cases like this pandemic, where the White House has a vested interest in showing that coronavirus cases are decreasing and that people aren’t dying. That’s why transparency is such a big deal: it enables the public to know when their own government might be misinterpreting, misrepresenting, or outright fabricating numbers. 

    Over the past few months, some organizations have been working to gather data from other sources. They are now well positioned to provide both media outlets and the public with reliable information despite the federal government’s changes. Perhaps the best one is the Johns Hopkins University.

     Johns Hopkins University confirmed that their data relies on individual states’ department of health databases within the US,and the World Health Organization for international case data. It will now be wise to check sources data. Anything that HHS publishes should be treated with suspicion. Misinformation has been undant in the last few months, and it seems we’re now going to have to be more vigilant than ever.
According to Pew Research, Three Months In, Many Americans See Exaggeration, Conspiracy
Theories and Partisanship in COVID-19 News  

  • 64% of U.S. adults say CDC mostly gets the facts about the outbreak right; 
  • 30% say the same about Trump and his administration 
  • Increasing shares of Americans, led by Republicans, believe the outbreak has been overblown; level of attention to COVID-19 news has dropped
  • Compared with the first weeks of the outbreak, many Americans are seeing more partisan viewpoints and struggling to know what is true about COVID-19 · 
  • Roughly one-third of Americans who have heard about it see truth in the conspiracy theory that the COVID-19 outbreak was intentionally planned by people in powe
  • Views of the outbreak vary based on the information streams people rely on most

Thursday, July 30, 2020

COVID Stupidity and Related Conspiracy

      We try really hard not to post opinion and politically biased content on this blog, but there is a limit to the level of stupidity that even we can tolerate.  If the ignorance only harms the person mouthing it, that is fine.  They are entitled.  That is their right.  It might even keep them away from wasting resources.  It "thins the gene pool." 

     The big claim of the ignorant now is all this COVID hysteria is a result of media hype.  So if that might be true (and it isn't), what is their recommendation?  Forget the social distancing, forget the masks, forget the extra caution?  What is the value of such an absurd claim?

     No careful observer will deny the media have really latched onto COVID reporting.  It is as if they have nothing else to talk about.  But the facts don't lie (unlike certain politicians).  They are available for anyone who wishes to monitor for himself what is happening. They can then share their analysis like an expert rather than a fool who sources his info solely from other idiots on social media. 

Related to this claim COVID is primarily media exaggeration, here is an old COVID conspiracy theory that seems to be making the rounds again.  Conspiracy theories unfortunately never die, unlike the people who choose to believe them.

CLAIM: Hospitals are inflating the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths so they can be paid more.

RESPONSE:: Recent legislation pays hospitals higher Medicare rates for COVID-19 patients and treatment, but there is no evidence of fraudulent reporting.


Most of us just choose to rely on credible sources and ignore others that have a history of misstatements and related ignorance, except when the misinformed put us, our family, and friends at serious risk.  

In order to stay safe, make a visit to .

Friday, July 24, 2020

A Trifecta for Climate Science and Rationality

By Charles Battig

First there was Michael Moore’s Planet of the Humans, then came Bjorn Lomborg’s False Alarm, and now Michael Schellenberger’s Apocalypse NeverAll three authors sound the common theme that the  hyper-green environmental activists who have captured, politicized, and monetized  the concern for the environment have created  a false climate  alarm  which has “costs us trillions, hurts the poor, and fails to fix the planet.”  To varying degrees, all three authors come from a strong environmental activist background, which observation makes their public revelations even more noteworthy.

Planet of the Humans,  confirmed renewables do not displace reliable fossil-fuel power plants.  Consumers energy bills do not go down, but go up. Renewables require large amounts of rare earths, cement, and fossil fuel energy in their production.  They are both notoriously inefficient in land use, and impose destruction of large areas of native habitats.  Further environmental destruction is due to the fact that the best wind or solar location is often remote from the most needed consumer base, thereby requiring the construction  of massive electric transmission lines.  “Factories claiming to have gone ‘beyond coal’ again and again turn out to be relying on natural gas.”

False Alarm argues that there are more productive ways to aid humanity than spending billions trying to influence climate change, such as improving sanitation, clean water supplies, basic nutrition, and providing paths out of poverty.

Lomborg states, “Climate change is real, it is caused predominantly by carbon emissions from humans burning fossil fuels….” but is not the apocalyptic threat so widely advertised. Land falling hurricanes in the US are not more frequent than in the past.  Droughts here are shorter, less frequent, and cover a smaller area.  Seventeen times more people currently die from cold than heat, and these people will benefit from moderate warming.  Global climate related deaths are an all-time low.”

Apocalypse Never echoes the similar conclusions as Planet of the Humans and False Alarm. Michael Shellenberger with long time green activist credentials had an environmental reality epiphany.  He told The Australian: "I realized you can't power a modern economy on solar and wind....  All they do is make the electricity system chaotic and provide green wash for fossil fuels."  He has made numerous efforts to support nuclear power.

Schellenberger documented much of the money for many of the renewable energy proposals adopted by  the Obama administration went to “companies that enriched donors to the Obama campaign” but failed to produce the promised renewable energy advances.  He concludes that “the trouble with the new environmental religion is that it has become increasingly apocalyptic, destructive, and self-defeating.”  

Environmentalist and Climate Skeptic Share Worldview

Climate Activist Michael Shellenberger and climate skeptic Bjorn Lomborg published books with remarkably similar titles and similar conclusions.  Shellenberger in his book titled Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All. said, On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologize for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years. Climate change is happening. It’s just not the end of the world. It’s not even our most serious environmental problem. 
Read here: 

Lomborg in his book titled False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet. said, "Climate change is happening.  It is just not the end all event that the alarmists want you to believe."

Michael Shellenberger is a Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment,” and Green Book Award Winner.He is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, and other publications. His TED talks have been viewed over five million times.

Bjørn Lomborg is a Danish author and President of his think tankCopenhagen Consensus Center. He is the former director of the Danish government's Environmental Assessment Institute (EAI) in Copenhagen. He argues that many of the costly measures and actions adopted by scientists and policy makers to meet the challenges of global warming will ultimately have minimal impact on the world's rising temperature.

Shellenberger said, On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologize for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years. Climate change is happening. It’s just not the end of the world. It’s not even our most serious environmental problem.

I may seem like a strange person to be saying all of this. I have been a climate activist for 20 years and an environmentalist for 30.

But as an energy expert asked by Congress to provide objective expert testimony, and invited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to serve as Expert Reviewer of its next Assessment Report, I feel an obligation to apologize for how badly we environmentalists have misled the public.

Here are some facts few people know:

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Hydroxychloroquine Use for COVID Still a BUST

In early July Henry Ford Hospital reported some positive results treating COVID-19 with hydroxychloroquine even after every credible research laboratory declared it to be ineffective. 

So what's the story?

Like masks, hydroxychloroquine became associated with political affiliation. Trump hyped it at White House briefings, and even announced that he himself was taking it. The FDA revoked its use.  Nevertheless, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro is still pointing to the Henry Ford study, But it was a retrospective one, neither randomized nor controlled. “The Detroit study touted by Navarro has very poor methodology—completely observational, meaning that the choice to give hydroxychloroquine was probably also linked to other factors that explain the benefit,” says Bob Wachter, chair of the department of medicine at UC San Francisco.

"What is the cost of continuing these trials?” 

The politics and social alignments that swirled around hydroxychloroquine made it hard for US researchers to enroll enough participants to make a study work. That slowed things down. An analysis by Stat showed that of the more than 1,200 Covid-19 drug trials underway or planned, 237,000 people—more than a third of volunteers in all the trials—were supposed to be enrolled in hydroxychloroquine studies. That now seems disproportionate, to say the least. “Nobody should get it,” 

Wachter says. “Overall, the evidence against it is strong enough that the drug should simply go away in Covid, and it would have weeks ago had it not been for the politics.”

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Truth About COVID Parties

Recent rumors and news reports have circulated claiming that COVID-19 is being spread intentionally in clandestine “covid parties.” In mid-March, Kentucky governor Andy Beshear made national headlines when he stated that part of the rise in coronavirus infections in his state was due to parties in which people tried their best to get sick. 

Covid parties, per se, are largely a media myth, but that doesn’t mean that someone, somewhere, may not be doing it or could do it. The question is not whether it’s possible, as all urban legends and rumors are inherently possible—and at least plausible enough to share. Hours after a hapless expert publicly avers that covid parties “don’t exist,” one could be arranged, thus “proving” the expert wrong. But the essence of the rumor is instead that clandestine covid parties are a Thing, being organized and sure to soon menace public health. In that regard there’s no evidence whatsoever of any covid parties.

There are more than enough real threats and dangers associated with COVID-19; we don’t need to create new ones. Hoaxes, misinformation, and rumors can cause real harm during public health emergencies; as always, best inoculations against misinformation are critical thinking, media literacy, and skepticism.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Mis-Information Risk of FACEBOOK

      The July/August edition of bulletin "Your Life" reports that as of 2018 only 16% of Americans get their news from printed newspapers. While major TV news sources are still available to provide mostly credible coverage and perspectives, about half get their news from FACEBOOKThat poses a major risk for the dissemination of biased and misinformation.  It happens as follows.

    In order to keep its audience engaged, FACEBOOK employs numerous algorithms to determine the interests of its subscribers.  By memorizing what a reader "likes" and "dislikes" and what he or she follows, FACEBOOK, can cater to the reader's serving up content that pleases, regardless of the validity.. 

It's like mental opium.  

      Gradually, the reader is moved into a microcosm of the real world.  They begin to think their opinions, no matter how distorted, represent the majority.  It is insidious; very few recognize or care that it is happening.
    Even worse, these are often the same people who are the first to cry "fake news" and "pox on your house."  They are quite comfortable with their ignorance and think it is an encroachment on their First-Amendment rights to fact-check what they are being fed.  
    Nevertheless, if a reader makers it to this blog, he is most likely not one of these people.  With that in mind, consider that the AARP article offers several ways to avoid the FACEBOOK trap and to "Be a Smart News Consumer,"
  • Research the "Byline."  If no author is listed, that is a red flag. Determine if the author is credible or has a known agenda.
  • Search the Headline. 70% of people don't read past the headlne and that is a source of "clickbait." Read the whole article.before making judgment.
  • Check out the sources. Do a search of the "evidence."  Discard articles that do not provide references to credible sources. . . 
  • Check out the coverage.  Legitimate news coverage rarely shows up on just one site... 
  • Validate the "dates".  Make sure it is actual current news and not a rehash of some longtime ago discredited report.
  • Determine the "basis" for the report. Is it actual news or someone's opinion?  Since everyone has an opinion, it is often best to keep these limited.
  • Use the references on this website to FACT-CHECK even those articles with which you agree.BEFORE you hit that "Share" button.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Hydroxychloroquine Cut COVID Death Rate Significantly

     The interest in hydroxychloroquine as a potential cure for COVID-19 began on March 16th when Long Island attorney Gregory Riganoit promoted on the Laura Ingram FOX News.  He was advocating for a sloppy paper by the eminent French microbiologist Didier Raoul
     Sean Hannity began promoting it as a cure for Covid-19.  
     Rigano appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show and claimed that Raoult’s study had shown hydroxychloroquine to have a “100 percent cure rate against coronavirus.” According to Todaro, Raoult had sent him a copy of his study and allowed him to post it on Twitter that day, two days before the preprint release.  
     Later, Raoult himself appeared on “Dr. Oz,” a frequent Fox News guest who has promoted hydroxychloroquine. 
    Donald Trump began hyping hydroxychloroquine on March 19, at a White House news conference with his coronavirus task force. He suggested, inaccurately, that the F.D.A. had approved the drug for use against Covid-19.  
    The F.D.A., under what appears to have been strong pressure from the Trump administration, issued an emergency-use authorization for chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate, 
     Unusually, the C.D.C., at what was reportedly Trump’s direct urging, issued Covid-19 prescription guidelines for the drugs based upon unattributed clinical anecdotes. (The guidelines were later withdrawn.) 
     A top government biomedical official was removed from his post, he has claimed, for having resisted political pressure to fund “potentially dangerous drugs,” including hydroxychloroquine.

June 2020 UAH Temperature Report

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Help Against Misinformation

If you are like us, your Inbox has been loaded with pounds of misinformation regarding the coronavirus. We have tried to point everyone to credible sources. although we suspect several people don’t appreciate that help.However, bad info can be life-threatening.

Several organizations are also trying to short-circuit the flow of bad info.Below is a link to an organization with whom we have had a 25-year relationship.
Hope it helps.

Friday, March 20, 2020

California Governor Goes Off DEEP END

This is a time Americans need SANE leadership, not IDIOCY in high offices
The extraordinary action comes as California Governor Galvin Newsom offered a grim projection about the toll the novel coronavirus might take on California. 
The state projects that 25.5 million people in California will be infected over an eight-week period, Newsom said in a letter sent to President Trump on Wednesday requesting the deployment of the U.S. Navy’s Mercy hospital ship to the Port of Los Angeles through Sept. 1.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020


Okay, I need help to understand this coronavirus thing.  So, I am sending this note to this brainy bunch. I just checked the CDC numbers about the seasonal flu.

So far this flu season, the CDC estimates that up to 45 million Americans have been infected, hospitalizing up to 560,000 and killing 46,000.

COVID-19: U.S. at a Glance (3/18/20). Total cases: 7,038, Total deaths: 97, Jurisdictions reporting cases: 54 (50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and US Virgin Islands)

From current data, the basic reproduction number R0 for COVID-19 is estimated to be between 2 and 2.5. That is, on average, a single infected person will go on to infect about two other people within a susceptible population. (Because SARS-CoV-2 is new to humans, everyone is assumed to be susceptible.)

So far in this outbreak, the WHO has reported that transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has primarily been between people who have had contact with each other, such as family members.

That’s in contrast to infections such as seasonal flu, which often spreads among unrelated people in the community and often before symptoms are apparent.
Seasonal flu has an estimate R0 of around 1.3. The highly contagious measles has an often-cited R0 range of 12 to 18, but some calculations have put the number at nearly 60.

R0 for CoVID-19 estimated at 2 to 2.5;  R0 for seasonal flu estimated at 1.3. Not much difference.

Both CoVID-19 and the season flu are dangerous.  It appears my chances of get the flu are probably at least 1000 times greater than CoVID-19 and my chances of dying from the flu are 100 times greater than CoVID-19, but the world is not shutting done because of the flu. Why not?

Friday, March 13, 2020


Without a doubt we need to take steps to minimize harm caused by disease, but we need to apply our attention and resources in proportion to the risk,  The novel coronavirus is a classic example of where the media has raised fears out of proportion. 

According to LiveScience
So far, the new coronavirus has led to more than 100,000 illnesses and more than 3,000 deaths worldwide. But that's nothing compared with the flu, also called influenza. In the U.S. alone, the flu has caused an estimated 34 million illnesses, 350,000 hospitalizations and 20,000 deaths this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
However, we aren't declaring it to be a pandemic, a national emergency, shutting down the world's economies or going out of our way to scare the hell out of people.

Friday, February 14, 2020

What in News is Fake?

We don't have much use for Donald Trump.  His personal style is totally reprehensible.  However, he has piqued our attention to the topic of Fake News.  It is not that news agencies in the Main Stream Media (MSM) lie about what they report.  They just choose WHAT they report.  If a news item does not line up with their agenda, it gets ignored.

For example, consider the recent Senate Impeachment trial.  We just happened to listen to PBS when the Trump defense team was giving its arguments.  Remarkably, they referred to and quoted specific legal precedents, while the prosecution ignored those facts. 

Then we heard the Burisma evidence relative to Hunter Biden.  I didn't take any legal scholar or genius to recognize a completely obvious conflict of interest and apparent under-the-table bribe. However, that evening, none of the MSM bother to comment on what we heard.

No way Hunter Biden was qualified to serve on the Board of Directors of Burisma with an annual payment of over a million dollars.  It wasn't much different than Hillary Clinton accepting $675,000 for a speech.  Both situations were clearly payoffs.  But, the Democrats claim charges of corruption in both situations were debunked.  What does that mean?

Weren't both situations clear and obvious payoffs, bribes? Or is the argument that such payoffs have been established as legal? Is a political opponent not are permitted to engage in investigation of such underhanded activity for obvious corruption? 

My guess is that such under-the-table dealing is common practice in politics and woe be to anyone who tries to disrupt the gravy train.

So the problem is not just the misrepresentation of the facts by the MSM, but the intentional ignoring of those facts that don't support "the official agenda."  Trump's tweets are distracting and raw, but he has found a way to bypass the MSM censors.

With the upcoming election that task is not just to identify the lies, but also to point out the ignored truths.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Glacial Retreat of Glaciers

 We made a copy of this YouTube video because so much associated with Climate Change is alarmist one way or another.  Didn't want to lose this evidence of that alarmism in case the original YouTube video is vandalized. Here is the copy.

The following YCC article gives the other side of the story with its bit of propaganda.

The issue isn't whether or not the Glaciers are melting.  Contrary to the claims of the YCC, few reputable non-alarmist scientists would say that the Glaciers aren't melting.  They are.  

Monday, December 23, 2019

The Shape of Misinformation

The following meme is now being shared on FACEBOOK.  It is a classic example of how misinformation is used to polarize opinions.
The above meme does contain a lot of facts and appeals to many people's emotion regarding both climate change and the media.  The problem is - the meme contains one glaring lie - Dr. Judith Curry NEVER said Climate Change is a hoax.

Dr. Curry is a reputable climate scientist that recognizes the enormous complexity of climate science and urges people not to rush to simplistic solutions or causes based on correlation models, such as those promulgated by the IPCC.  The fact that she isn't one of the alarmists has designated her as a Climate Change Denier, which couldn't be farther from the truth.

Check out Dr. Curry's blog at

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Just the Facts - Climate Hysteria

An interesting article in Just Facts Daily discusses the climate hysteria extolled by activist Greta Thunberg verse reality.  However, before sharing it, we did our usual bias check.

It reports (highlight is ours)
These media sources are slightly to moderately conservative in bias. They often publish factual information that utilizes loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes) to favor conservative causes. These sources are generally trustworthy for information, but may require further investigation.
So here is the story.  Ignoring the emotionalism, the facts are revealing
At a recent United Nations summit, 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg claimed that the Earth is on the brink of destruction and that older generations are betraying younger ones by not doing enough to stop climate change. The media has amplified these allegations by giving her speech broad, glowing coverage, but the fears she expressed are not grounded in reality.
But the Just Facts Daily article details the reality of the climate situation which is quite to the contrary. Maybe Thunberg is ahead of her time with her hysteria, but today, it looks like she clearly doesn't know what she is yelling about. 
In her speech, Thunberg raged that people “have stolen my dreams and my childhood,” which is arguably true. However, she blames the wrong culprits. Her anxiety and desperation are not the fault of adults who act in accord with the facts of this issue. Instead, Thunberg’s tormenters are the people who have indoctrinated her and many other youth with unfounded fears.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Are YOU a Source of Disinformation?

Disinformation is the deliberate spread of verifiably false or misleading content to gain financially or to deceive the public.

In 2016 and again in 2018, Russian agents posed as people on both sides of hot-button issues to foment distrust and discord. A recent study by Avaaz, a nonprofit that focuses on social media disinformation, found in the past three months fabricated news stories got 86 million views, more than three times as many as during the previous three months.