Pharmaceutical giant Moderna is reportedly working with former law enforcement analysts and public health officials on policing vaccine “misinformation” online.
An investigation by British media outlet Unherd shows Moderna’s marketing department worked with former FBI and Secret Service analysts to shape how vaccines are discussed online. Moderna is known for its mRNA technology and generated $18.4 billion worth of revenue from the Covid-19 vaccine in 2022, up from $17.7 billion the year before. (RELATED: The Pentagon Mandated COVID Vaccines, But Then Ignored Concerns About Adverse Reactions, Whistleblowers Say)
Moderna is spying on you. https://t.co/eJyR6Vcthe
— Lee Fang (@lhfang) November 20, 2023
Moderna collaborated with the Public Good Projects (PGP), a pharmaceutical industry-backed nonprofit, to work alongside governments and social media companies to police vaccine “misinformation” online, according to Unherd.
The organization’s website lists “misinformation monitoring” as one of its services and describes how its health experts monitor social media and news media. Its projects include the Project VCTR with the New York State Health Foundation and the National Governors Association, and the Vaccination Demand Observatory with UNICEF.
PGP gives talking points to a network of 45,000 healthcare professionals “and advice on how to respond when vaccine misinformation goes mainstream,” according to an internal Moderna email obtained by Unherd.
Modern’s information monitoring team includes its global intelligence division, headed by former FBI analyst Nikki Rutman. The division sends out reports with warnings about certain vaccine related narratives circulating online and whether Moderna will need to take action.
Have you heard dis information?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 26, 2023
“Politicians attempting to ban COVID-19 mandates — or at least claiming to — signals growing resistance to COVID-19 mitigations,” an internal Moderna alert reads, per Unherd.
The company also reportedly monitors prominent figures such as Elon Musk and Russell Brand who have large internet followings. Musk is considered “high risk,” and Moderna once flagged a video shared by Musk mocking the media and government officials, Unherd reported.
Musk was reportedly the subject of an Oct. 5 report flagging a post on X criticizing vaccine mandates and covid-19 booster shots. “Musk has one of the largest platforms in the world—literally and figuratively. He increasingly uses that platform to elevate fringe vaccine opponents and conspiracy theorists,” the report states.
Russell Brand is another online figure reportedly featured in a Moderna report on vaccine narratives. His criticism of pharmaceutical industry profits was part of a “high risk” alert containing a warning about Brand’s popularity in “anti-vaccine spaces” online, per Unherd.
Moderna began working with PGP in 2021 to develop a program called “stronger” designed to identify “misinformation” about vaccines and influence social media platforms.
PGP previously worked with Twitter and sent the company Excel spreadsheets featuring accounts to promote and censor, Unherd found. PGP’s reports to Twitter lumped together social media posts criticizing vaccine mandates with posts claiming vaccines were designed to kill patients, according to Unherd.
Moderna and PGP are currently working on the “Infodemiology Training Program,” an online course and newsletter for health professionals informing them of trending public health narratives and how to respond. The American Board of Internal Medicine developed the program alongside Moderna and PGP.
Moderna and PGP did not respond to requests for comment by the time of publication.