US President Joe Biden stated on Friday that social media platforms like Facebook “are killing people.” as the government continues to criticize Facebook for allowing disinformation regarding COVID-19 vaccinations to be posted on its site.
“They’re killing people. … Look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. And they’re killing people,” Biden told reporters at the White House when asked about misinformation and what his message was to social media platforms such as Facebook Inc’s.
During the pandemic, misinformation spread quickly on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet Inc. Facebook has long been criticized by researchers and politicians for failing to regulate dangerous material on its services.
The business has implemented policies prohibiting particular misleading statements regarding COVID-19 and its vaccinations and promises to offer consumers accurate information on these subjects.
“We will not be distracted by accusations which aren’t supported by the facts,” Facebook spokesman Kevin McAlister said on Friday. “The fact is that more than 2 billion people have viewed authoritative information about COVID-19 and vaccines on Facebook, which is more than any other place on the internet.
“More than 3.3 million Americans have also used our vaccine finder tool to find out where and how to get a vaccine. The facts show that Facebook is helping save lives. Period,” he said.
According to US authorities, the Delta form of the coronavirus has become the prevalent strain globally, followed by a rise in fatalities in the United States, almost exclusively among uninfected individuals.
COVID-19 cases in the United States are up 70% from the previous week, with fatalities up 26%, with outbreaks happening in areas with poor vaccination rates.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, has previously chastised Facebook.
“Obviously, there are steps they have taken. They’re a private-sector company, Psaki told a White House briefing. “There are additional steps they can take. It’s clear that there are more than can be taken.”
According to Psaki, 12 individuals are responsible for almost 65% of anti-vaccine disinformation on social media sites. The Center for Countering Digital Hate, headquartered in Washington and London, published the findings in May, but Facebook has questioned the methodology.
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy of the United States has also expressed concern about the spread of disinformation regarding COVID-19 and similar vaccinations. He warned on Thursday that it was making it more difficult to combat the pandemic and preserve lives.