Facebook to Biden: ‘We Are Not the Reason for Missing Vaccine Target’


WASHINGTON – Facebook on Saturday Biden condemns the administration For spreading misinformation about the social media giant’s Covid-19 vaccines and escalating tensions between the Silicon Valley company and the White House.

In a blog postFacebook urged the administration to stop “finger pointing” and explained what it did to encourage users to get vaccinated. The social network also detailed how it thwarted lies about vaccines, which officials say has led to people refusing to get vaccinated.

“The Biden administration has chosen to blame a handful of American social media companies,” Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, said in the post. “The reality is that vaccine acceptance has increased among Facebook users in the US.”

Mr Rosen added that the company’s data shows that 85 percent of its users in the US have been vaccinated against the coronavirus or want to be vaccinated. President Biden had aimed to have 70 percent of Americans vaccinated by July 4. The White House fell short“Facebook is not the reason this target was missed,” said Mr Rosen.

Facebook’s response came after a strong condemnation of the company by Mr Biden. When asked about the role of social media in influencing vaccines on Friday, Mr. Biden explained in unusually strong language that platforms are “killing people”.

“Look,” he added, “the only epidemic we have is among the unvaccinated, and that’s it – and they’re killing people.”

Other White House officials have also been increasingly vocal about how social media is amplifying vaccine lies.

On Thursday, surgeon general Vivek Murthy accused social media companies of not doing enough to stop the spread of dangerous health misinformation. they call it a national health crisis This fed vaccine hesitations among Americans. On Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki also called for misinformation that “leads to people not getting vaccinated, and people are dying as a result.” He said it was the White House’s responsibility to raise the issue.

The White House declined to comment on Facebook’s blog post on Saturday.

Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites have long struggled with their role as conversation platforms, while shielding their users from disinformation campaigns such as efforts to influence Russia’s presidential election or false statements about the pandemic.

Facebook has taken steps in recent months against anti-vaccine advertisements and misrepresentations about vaccines. In October he said he would no longer allow it. anti-vaccine ads on the platform. In February, the company went further and remove posts with false claims about vaccinesincluding claims that vaccines cause autism or that it is safer for people to catch the coronavirus than to get vaccinated.

But online misinformation about vaccines has not been eradicated. lies spread that vaccines can alter DNA or that vaccines don’t work.

On Saturday, Mr Rosen said in his blog post that vaccine hesitancy among Facebook’s American users has dropped 50 percent since April, with vaccine acceptance rising between 10 and 15 percent, or 70 percent to over 80 percent.

“While social media plays an important role in society, it is clear that we need a whole-of-society approach to end this epidemic,” Rosen said. “And the facts – not the allegations – should help inform this effort.”

People with knowledge of the matter said the White House’s frustration on Facebook had grown over the past few months. While the Biden administration asked Facebook to share information about the spread of false information on the social network, the company refused to cooperate.

On Friday, White House digital director Robert Flaherty said in a tweet, “I guess I’m left with a simple question: How many people have seen COVID vaccine misinformation on Facebook?”


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *