It has come to light that Moderna, a leading pharmaceutical company, just like it was revealed of Pfizer earlier this year, has been actively involved in monitoring and influencing vaccine-related narratives on social media and other platforms.
This is being carried out through a collaboration with Public Good Projects (PGP), a non-profit organization funded by the drug industry, as well as former law enforcement and public health officials. PGP is intricately linked with social media platforms, government bodies, and news sites to identify and counteract the primary sources of vaccine hesitancy by rapidly targeting and neutralizing misinformation.
As reported by Jack Paulson for Lee Fang’s Substack, an email from Moderna reveals the engagement of around 45,000 healthcare professionals who receive guidance on addressing misinformation when it becomes widespread.
Moderna’s initiative, aimed at controlling public discourse, especially targets narratives that could weaken COVID-19 policies, including lockdowns and mass vaccination drives.
This effort provides insight into the ongoing debates over free speech that have been a point of contention for the past three years. Moderna’s surveillance spans a broad spectrum of media outlets, including unconventional ones like Steam and Medium.
The company also employs Talkwalker, which leverages its “Blue Silk” AI technology to oversee vaccine discussions on over 150 million websites globally. This surveillance extends to scrutinizing conversations about competitor vaccines and hesitancy towards vaccination.
The team overseeing this operation is led by Nikki Rutman, head of Moderna’s global intelligence division and a former FBI analyst with nearly two decades of experience. Rutman’s involvement, along with other ex-law enforcement personnel, reflects a growing trend where government agencies like the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI are increasingly relying on social media platforms to influence content decisions under the guise of national security.
Moderna’s relationship with PGP is especially notable. Funded by a significant donation from the Biotechnology and Innovation Organization, representing Pfizer and Moderna lobbyists, PGP maintains strong connections with government and media. PGP’s role in shaping social media content decisions became evident during their collaboration with Moderna on the “Stronger” program in 2021-22, which involved direct access to Twitter’s comprehensive data and influencing the platform’s pandemic-related speech policies.
Get the full report by Jack Paulson over on Lee Fang’s Substack here.
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