Newer variants of COVID-19 are getting deadlier and more contagious by the day, and the US government is scrambling on its feet to vaccinate as many people as it can. However, vaccine hesitancy in the US is still at an all-time high. Officials are trying to find the reason behind the number and they are turning to Facebook as the cause. Why? The Biden administration claims that Facebook has failed to censor misinformation about the vaccine on its platform. They also claim that this has lead to hesitancy among citizens. Sure enough, the social media giant bit back on the current administration, saying the vaccine hesitancy has a deeper (and more complicated) cause than we think.
What the Biden administration says:
In the latest news, the current administration asks Facebook to provide data regarding how much Americans are influenced by the vaccine misinformation.
Press sec. Psaki on surgeon general warning Americans about misinformation: “Facebook should provide, publicly and transparently, data on the reach of COVID vaccine misinformation—not just engagement, but the reach of the misinformation.” https://t.co/eiLre16KqR pic.twitter.com/shM33v67Oy
— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) July 15, 2021
The President, on a rare occasion, has bluntly exclaimed that the social media giant is “killing people” for failing to ban misinformation about the vaccine. The administration also claims that Facebook is allowing false vaccine information to be spread among its users. Multiple personalities and individuals online have reflected the same reaction.
The top Facebook post in U.S. about vaccines today was Marjorie Taylor Greene spreading vaccine disinformation. President Biden is right — Facebook is killing people. Mark Zuckerberg is killing people. Sheryl Sandberg is killing people.
— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) July 17, 2021
How Facebook reacted:
There are numerous claims, on the other hand, that Facebook actually done more good than we give them credit for. Despite the number of misinformation available on the platform, it is sure that people have learned so much more about the vaccine that helped them to decide to get vaccinated. This includes announcements on vaccine locations, availability, perks, and bonuses. The social media giant also clapped back against the US government saying that they should not be blamed for the latter’s failure to meet its vaccination goals.
How Twitter reacted to this exchange
Vaccine and communism
— Jesse Lehrich (@JesseLehrich) July 16, 2021
Only 12 people are responsible for 65% of the misinformation
When Facebook says it’s too hard to remove fake news and hate, they’re lying: Only 12 people are responsible for 65% of the lies about vaccines https://t.co/iuB5x4lByH
— Ellen K. Pao (@ekp) July 16, 2021
Facebook is not the only one to blame
Without figures for the decline in vaccine hesitancy among Americans not on facebook, all of these numbers amount to little more than blowing smoke. Again reference the graph I included above. pic.twitter.com/z8ZIK1GuzX
— Carl T. Bergstrom (@CT_Bergstrom) July 17, 2021
This is what appears on your Facebooks search results
Reminder that Facebook-owned Instagram is *still* actively recommending anti-vax content to users who search for vaccine info. https://t.co/fw4yw3B3Cn https://t.co/rnU2uwTw3l pic.twitter.com/7KbP9rPUwb
— Jesselyn Cook (@JessReports) July 17, 2021