Feds Use Facebook to Study COVID Vaccine, Testing, and Mask Messaging

healthcare worker giving vaccination

Legislation that would use federal agencies to “nudge” social media platforms to reduce the spread of “harmful content” isn’t going anywhere in the waning days of the 117th Congress. 

As evidenced by the ongoing release of the “Twitter Files,” however, that’s no impediment to the government — and the research universities that so heavily depend on federal funding — enlisting Big Tech to promote favored narratives and throttle competing arguments on contentious topics.

Federal agencies and U.S. universities together have funded or sponsored a dozen studies mentioning Facebook and COVID-19, according to the National Institutes of Health’s ClinicalTrials.gov database.

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Biden Blamed by Own Ex-Border Chief for Soaring Asylum Cases, Record Immigration Court Backlog

The Biden administration is to blame for soaring asylum cases that have created a record years-long backlog in U.S. immigration courts, according to President Joe Biden’s own former Border Patrol chief.

“Several factors have contributed to this backlog, but the massive increase that we’re seeing today can be directly attributed to the Biden administration’s border and immigration policies,” said Rodney Scott, who headed the Border Patrol in both the Trump and Biden administrations.

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More than Two-Thirds of Voters Believe America is Heading in the Wrong Direction

More than two-thirds of voters now say the United States is headed in the wrong direction, according to a new poll from the State Policy Network. Voter satisfaction with the country’s direction has continued to plummet since July.

SPN’s State’s Voices opinion poll surveyed nearly 2,000 registered voters and was conducted in partnership with Morning Consult through online interviews.

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Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia Among 18 States Banning Social Media App TikTok from State Devices

Following South Dakota GOP Gov. Kristi Noem’s lead, nearly half of U.S. states have put restrictions on or banned the use of Chinese-based social media app TikTok.

At least 19 states have banned TikTok on government-issued devices – Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utha, Virginia and West Virginia.

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Commentary: The Left Sacrifices Natural Gas at the Altar of Climate Nirvana Leaving Good Americans Freeze to Death

The just-departed polar vortex confirmed that when Mother Nature is enraged, it’s wise to have options. Maddeningly, today’s “pro-choice” Democrats want Americans to have one energy choice.

Neo-totalitarian, Left-wing eco-extremists are banning new natural-gas access in scores of locales. If not reversed, this cruel, stupid, needless policy will kill Americans.

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Commentary: The $1.7 Trillion Omnibus Prioritizes Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Higher Education and STEM Spending

The national debt is growing, but Congress’ recent spending bill is a telltale sign that it has no intention of shrinking the deficit.

After receiving bipartisan support in the Senate, the House passed a 1.7 trillion spending bill on Dec 16, avoiding a government shutdown.

The bill allocates funding mostly to defense, including $45 billion to Ukraine, which will assist the country in its war effort against Russia.

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Report: 97 Percent of Anti-Jewish Hate Crimes in New York Were Committed by Other Minorities

Americans Against Antisemitism (AAA) released a report revealing that 97% of hate crimes against Jews in New York between 2018 and 2022 were committed by other minority groups.

AAA’s report was first posted on AAA founder Dov Hikind’s Twitter account Wednesday. The report documented 194 cases of assault against Jews from April 2018 to August 2022, and, in 99 of those assaults, official reports included the ethnicity of the perpetrator revealing 97% were committed by other minorities.

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Economists: Guaranteed Income Programs Should Replace, Not Supplement, Other Welfare Subsidies

In Hudson, New York, participants in the city’s guaranteed income program that started in 2020 were counseled on how the $500 a month they were set to receive over a 5-year-period would impact other government subsidies for which they are eligible.

“Will participants lose other public benefits that they might currently be receiving?” the program’s website asked on the Frequently Asked Question section. “This question can only be answered on a case-by-case basis. Prior to committing to participating, all recipients will be offered benefits’ counseling to decide if participation is best for their specific situation.”

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Commentary: New IRS Requirement Raises Questions About Vow to Expand Audits Only on ‘Rich’

Next month, the U.S. Postal Service will be busier than usual. Not because of late Christmas cards or thank-you letters, but because of the extra Form 1099-Ks the IRS will be mailing out.

Under the American Rescue Plan, third-party payment facilitators like Venmo, eBay, Etsy, and Airbnb are now required to send Form 1099-Ks to individuals reporting 2022 gross annual income of as little as $600. That’s $50 a month.

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Students at Utah College Can Take a Course in ‘Dead White Women’ Next Semester

Westminster College, located in Salt Lake City, Utah, will offer a course titled “Dead White Women” during the spring 2023 semester which will analyze society’s “(unhealthy) obsession with the death of white women,” according to the course catalog.

The four-credit course is offered in both the film studies and gender studies departments, according to the catalog. The class will study why shows on the Investigation Discovery channel feature the deaths of white women more than the deaths of men.

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Boston May Bring Back Mask Mandates for Kids

Boston Public Schools is considering reinstating a mask mandate after the holiday break to minimize absenteeism from COVID-19, the mayor stated in a Wednesday announcement.

The decision is currently under consideration by city officials who fear a rise in COVID-19 cases once students return to the classroom in the new year, NBC Boston reported. Democratic Mayor Michelle Wu stated that a decision would be finalized by the end of the week.

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