2021-04-13 update. Google has a special factcheck tool, which it uses to misinform the public, decision makers, and journalists on all kinds of topics, including the use of Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin against COVID-19.
India has been successfully using HCQ for treatment and prophylaxis of COVID-19 almost from the beginning. This is why it has so low COVID-19 mortality (124 deaths per Million, 14x lower than the US, despite much higher population density in India). But Google found an obscure website there, which correctly states that W.H.O. did not approve HCQ for COVID-19, then it proceeds to deny its effectiveness. Google flatly denies effectiveness of HCQ and IVM against COVID-19, even admitting that their effectiveness was asserted by doctors. This article is the first result in Google’s “Fact Check Explorer”.
The following paragraph is how Google advertises its Search:
“Search for medical information on Google
You can search on Google for medical information that’s been reviewed by doctors. … Medical information on Google comes from high-quality websites, medical professionals, and search results. … First, we find and analyze health-related information from high-quality sites across the web. … Next, teams of doctors carefully review and refine the information, and licensed medical illustrators create visuals.“ – emphasis is added
This paragraph clearly describes how Google is acting as an original provider of medical information – reviewing and refining information and adding visuals. These actions fall well outside of any Section 230 protection for information received from some third parties.
Additionally Google continues spreading deadly misinformation about COVID-19 (#TechDemic). Google still claims that there are no treatments for COVID-19, despite the many effective treatments (some of which have even been approved by the CDC), including but not limited to:
- Hydroxychloroquine + Azithromycin/Doxycycline + Zinc
- Ivermectin +
- Convalescent Plasma from people who recovered
- Regeneron’s cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies
Ivermectin based treatment and prophylaxis has nearly the same or even higher effectiveness (~80% with the best protocols), safety, and availability as Hydroxychloroquine. Ivermectin use is not affected by TDS. Despite these facts, Google’s search for ivermectin yields a propaganda piece Why You Should Not Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19 from the FDA. The ‘propaganda piece’ is not an exaggeration. It attempts to insinuate that Ivermectin is only used in veterinary practice (with a picture of a veterinarian and a horse at the top), and it further associates the drug with stigmatized diseases such as parasitic worms and head lice. The article ends with the advice to muzzle up.
In addition to Google’s search being misleading, there are also “Common Questions and Answers”, which are exclusively Google’s own (mis)information, and in no way fall under Section 230 protections. For the question “Is Ivermectin recommended to treat the coronavirus?” the correct answer is Yes, but Google incorrectly says No.
It is important to note that neither FDA nor CDC are health care authorities. The FDA regulates manufacturing, labeling, and interstate shipments of drugs.
Also, since Google, Facebook, and Twitter have routinely misinformed the government (including the FDA, CDC, NIH) about COVID-19, they can not be protected under Section 230, even when simply displaying wrong information received from the same government agencies that they labored to misinform.. See Fair Housing v. Roommates.com, 489 F.3d 921 (9th Cir. 2007).
The search for ivermectin has been conducted today, 2020-03-21, using a clean browser. Below is the full view of the search results:
First posted on 2021-03-21. Updated on 2021-03-29 and 2021-04-13.