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Facebook Extends Pushback on Biden Criticism of Social Media

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(Bloomberg) – Facebook Inc. extended its objections to President Joe Biden’s comment that social media networks facilitated the spread of misinformation about vaccines, saying they would not blame the political right to miss the goal of getting 70% of Americans immunized by July 4.

On Friday, Biden said the social network is “killing people” by allowing the spread of misinformation about the coronavirus vaccine, saying that “the only pandemic we have is among people who have not been vaccinations” after he was asked about his message for tech companies.

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Biden says social media ‘kills people’ with fiction virus

After the social media giant said Friday that the administration’s claims were “not supported by fact,” Facebook’s Vice President of Integrity Guy Rosen posted a blog Saturday, using customer surveys and other actions the company took in defense. That includes data showing that 85% of US users have or want to be vaccinated, and their efforts have also pushed vaccine hesitancy down to 50%, he said.

“At a time when Covid-19 cases are on the rise in the US, the Biden administration has chosen to blame a handful of American social media companies,” Rosen said. “Facebook is not the reason this goal was missed.”

Facebook previously said it removed millions of posts from its core product and photo-sharing app Instagram for violating its policies, and increased enforcement against repeat offenders. The administration “clearly” does not believe it is an adequate response to a “life or death issue,” the White House said on Friday.

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To detail Facebook’s actions, Rosen said more than 18 million “instances” of Covid-19 misinformation have been removed since the start of the pandemic. The social network also labels and cuts the visibility of more than 167 million pieces of content verified by its testers.

However, anti-vaccination activists took to social media platforms at the beginning of the pandemic, where they inject anti-scientific skepticism into Facebook groups, stories and Instagram posts. Algorithms reward content that triggers a strong emotional response, further amplifying misinformation, from vaccine toxicity to infertility risk.

Social media influencers, legitimized by their sizable following, had a whole year to sow doubt about a Covid vaccine before Facebook took significant action. They exploited public confusion and mixed messages from government and health officials about everything from face masks to vaccine side effects and safety. Facebook’s official stance is that it doesn’t ban posts unless they “cause imminent harm” – the threshold at which the social network says vaccine misinformation is surpassed only a few months into the vaccination campaign. Global.

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Facebook is allowing anti-Vaxers to shield women from shock

So far, only 55% of Americans have received a single dose of the vaccine, and the rate is falling despite the White House’s efforts to encourage more people to get vaccinated, while countries including Britain and Canada have increased accelerate vaccination efforts.

“We applied similar tactics in the UK and Canada, which have similar Facebook usage rates as the US, and those countries have reached over 70 per cent of eligible people,” said Rosen. vaccinations,” said Rosen. “All of this shows there’s more to Facebook in terms of results in the US”

Meanwhile, Twitter Inc. took a different approach in his response.

“As the Covid-19 pandemic develops around the world, we will continue to do our part to advance authoritative health information,” it said in a tweet.

© 2021 Bloomberg LP

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