US President Joe Biden said Friday social media platforms like Facebook are “killing people” with misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, while the White House is stepping up its rhetoric about misinformation on social media regarding the pandemic.
« They kill people – I mean, they really are, you see, the only pandemic we have is one of the unvaccinated, » Biden told reporters as he left the White House for Camp David. « And they kill people. »
The US surgeon general Dr. Vivek Murthy warned on Thursday that health misinformation is « a serious threat to public health » and the government called social media giant Facebook directly for not doing enough to spread false information on its platform to stop. The meetings between the Biden administration and Facebook over the past few weeks have been « tense, » a source familiar with the talks told CNN.
The source said Biden officials, who raised concerns about vaccine misinformation on Facebook, concluded that the company « either doesn’t take this very seriously or is hiding something » as they believe Facebook is unwilling to oppose Take action against vaccine misinformation.
A Facebook spokesperson didn’t respond directly to the source’s description of the company’s efforts, but told CNN that Facebook was working to combat COVID-19 misinformation and had launched initiatives like a vaccine appointment scheduling tool >
On the previous Friday, the White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki blew up social media platforms for taking inadequate measures against misinformation.
« Why don’t we all take part in a process that helps deliver accurate information? » said Psaki.
The White House finds Facebook’s response and information sharing on vaccine misinformation insufficient, Psaki said on Friday.
On Thursday, Psaki cited four actions the social media platform administration wants: measure the impact of misinformation on their platform and share it publicly, implement a more robust enforcement strategy, act faster on malicious posts, and promote quality information in their feed algorithm.
In response to a request from CNN’s Phil Mattingly on Friday to elaborate on the requests and to see whether Facebook had complied with the requests, Psaki stated that the White House was in regular contact with social media platforms.
« We regularly make sure social media platforms are aware of the latest dangerous public health narratives that we and many other Americans see on all social and traditional media, » she said.
US President Joe Biden speaks on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington on efforts to combat COVID-19. (AP photo / Evan Vucci)
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