Covid’s false information ; U.S. President Joe Biden has warned that the spread of false information about Covid’s false information on social media is “killing people”. He was responding to a reporter’s question about the alleged role of “Facebook-like platforms” in spreading lies about vaccines and epidemics.
Covid’s false information
The White House has been increasing the pressure on social media to deal with non-information.
- Facebook says it is taking “an aggressive act” to protect public health.
- “They are killing people,” Mr Biden told reporters at the White House on Friday. “The only epidemic we have is among those who are not vaccinated.”
Health officials in the US have warned that the country’s current mortality rate from Covid-19 is only affecting uninfected communities.
Earlier on Friday, White House News Secretary Jen Psaki said Facebook and other platforms were not doing enough to combat false information about policies.
- “Obviously they have taken steps,” he said. “Obviously there is something more that can be taken.”
Facebook spokesman Kevin McAlister said the company “would not be deterred by allegations that could not be substantiated”.
“We have removed more than 18 million pieces of Covid’s false information also removed accounts that violate these rules over and over again,” the company said in a separate statement. You get the impression that Facebook is becoming increasingly tired of criticism from US governments. Mr Trump and other Republicans believe Facebook is blocking free speech by cracking down on voter fraud.
Mr Biden and his team have a different criticism – that Facebook does not do enough to undermine the conspiracy – as anti-vax content. Last week the president signed an executive order aimed at trying to monitor the power of companies like Covid’s false information.
- Facebook is by no means a company that has been accused of failing to comply with conspiracy theories. YouTube, for example, has been criticized for its testing practices.
- Mr Biden’s choice of Facebook shows his anger at the company. In January 2020 he told the New York Times: “I’ve never been a big Zuckerberg fan. I think he’s a real problem.”
- As for Facebook, Mr Biden is now president, and his speeches are becoming increasingly difficult.
- Facebook has faced criticism for its ratings, and misleading content about the epidemic is still widely available on its platforms.
Earlier on Friday, Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told the media: “There is a clear message coming this way: this has become a pandemic.”
- About 67.9% of US adults received a single dose of the vaccine, while 59.2% of adults were completely vaccinated.
- Many eligible people who reject policies in the US have said they do not trust them.
In March, the report said that anti-vaccine activists on Covid’s false information, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter had reached “more than 59 million followers, making these social media platforms the largest and most important for anti-vaxxers”.
That same month, Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Photosi and Jack Dorsey – respectively Facebook, Google and Twitter – were asked in Congress about not disclosing information. Mr Dorsey told senators that Twitter was committed to managing the posts. Mr Photosi said YouTube had worked to remove misleading content, highlighting its role in disseminating vaccine information.
This comes after social media agreed to close the revelations with politically embarrassing emails leaking from Mr Biden’s son’s laptop ahead of last November’s presidential election.
Covid’s false information
Covid’s false information ; Twitter and Facebook blocked links to the New York Post report about Hunter Biden’s performance after his father’s campaign team said without evidence that this was “a false report”.