The US government has urged social networks like Facebook to do more to address misinformation related to Covid-19 and vaccination against it. Facebook needs to be quicker to remove posts that contain false information and violate guidelines, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Thursday. Some posts would stay online for several days before being removed. “It’s too long, information is spreading too quickly,” said Psaki.
Misinformation about vaccination
In the USA, like in Germany and other countries, the corona numbers have risen again recently. At the same time, vaccination progress in the USA has stalled. “Millions of Americans are still not protected against Covid-19 and we are seeing more infections among the unvaccinated,” warned US government chief health officer Vivek Murthy. Apparently, a certain amount of vaccination fatigue has set in, and incorrect information about vaccination also does not promote willingness to vaccinate.
“We live in a world today where misinformation is an imminent and insidious threat to our nation’s health.” Misinformation contributed to the fact that many people in the USA did not want to wear masks. Due to incorrect information, people would now decide not to get vaccinated against Covid-19. This is only possible because big tech companies have allowed “misinformation to poison our information environment”.
Actions by Facebook
A Facebook spokesman said in response to the allegations according to the Reuters news agencythat Facebook had teamed up with experts and health officials to take “aggressive action against misinformation about Covid-19 and vaccines to protect public health.” So far, Facebook has removed around 18 million posts with false information about Covid-19 and deleted accounts that have repeatedly violated the rules, the spokesman emphasized. Facebook also helped provide more than two billion people with reliable information about Covid-19 and the corona virus.
Facebook had established rules for dealing with false information about Covid-19 and marked posts with problematic information. In addition, Facebook has stepped up its efforts to compile information on the topic from scientifically sound sources.