Biden accused Facebook of "killing" with misinformation on Covid-19

Biden accused Facebook of killing with misinformation on Covid-19

The platform denied the allegations, claiming instead to "save lives" with its vaccine information

(photo: Tom Brenner / Getty Images) US President Joe Biden harshly accused Facebook of "killing people ”with the fake news about covid-19 and the vaccines it hosts on its platform. Biden's comments came in response to a reporter who asked the president on Friday what his message was to platforms like Facebook regarding the covid-19 misinformation.

Mark Zuckerberg's social media didn't catch very well this harsh statement, defining the accusations "unsupported by the facts" and responding with some data. According to a company spokesperson, "more than 2 billion people have viewed information on covi-19 and vaccines on Facebook, more than anywhere else on the internet." Over 3.3 million Americans would use the platform's tool to find out where and how to get a vaccine. "Facts show that Facebook is helping to save lives," the spokesperson said.

The company also noted that vaccine response in user surveys increased from 70% in January 2021 to 85 % in July and that disparities between cultural groups have decreased considerably over the same period.

Facebook added that Canada and the UK have higher vaccination rates despite their citizens using the social network as much as Americans . In this way, the social media argued that the non-optimal vaccination rates in the US are due to more complex issues, and that the blame is not to be blamed on Facebook.

The social media giant has not tried to find an alternative explanation for the US problems, although some observers have speculated a possible link between political affiliation and vaccination rates.

The company also emphasized its efforts to promote accurate claims and combat false news, by removing content and using appropriate notices. Facebook, however, has not released data on how much misleading news escapes its shirts.

Already on July 15, the United States surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, had issued a warning on the dangers of health disinformation, calling it an "urgent threat" that social media companies and technology platforms need to do more to address. According to the New York Times, this release is rather unusual for the Surgeon General's office, which typically issues warnings about specific health issues.

The report in any case specifically recommends that companies take swift action against the "super-diffusers" of disinformation and repeat offenders. A widely cited report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate found that more than half of the online misinformation against vaccines can be linked to just 12 individuals.

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Coronavirus Facebook Fake news United States globalData.fldTopic = "Coronavirus, Facebook, Fake news, United States "

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