Washington: US President Joe Biden said that social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are allowing misinformation about Covid-19 vaccines to spread. He slammed the platforms by saying they "are killing people".
"They're killing people. ... Look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. And they're killing people," said Biden. He was speaking to the media at the White House. Since the beginning of the pandemic, many researchers and US lawmakers have called out Facebook for its failure to police harmful, incorrect content on its platforms, reported Reuters.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki also slammed how Facebook has been handling misinformation about Covid-19. She said that Facebook is a private sector company, and they have taken some steps. But it is clear that Facebook can take more steps. She added that the Biden administration was in regular contact with Facebook on Thursday and was flagging problematic posts.
Psaki pointed out that a report by a Washington and London-based non-profit Center for Countering Digital Hate said that 12 people are responsible for almost 65% of the anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms. Facebook disputed the methodology.
Facebook spokesman Kevin McAlister said that the company has introduced rules and regulations against specific false claims about Covid-19 and its vaccines. He alleged that accusations about the company's position about misinformation are not supported by facts.
McAlister claimed that Facebook has been providing reliable information to users. He stated that over 2 billion people have viewed authoritative information about Covid-19 and vaccines on the platform, and it is higher than any other platform on the internet. He added that over 3.3 million Americans have used Facebook's vaccine finder tool to get information about the availability of vaccines, said the Reuters report.
Twitter and YouTube did not respond to Biden's statement.