Last week, President Biden said disinformation about COVID-19 on Facebook was “killing people.” Though he later walked back that charge, the administration remains at odds with the social media giant over the continued spread of anti-vaccine rhetoric and false information.
Tech expert Omar Gallaga told Texas Standard that criticism of Facebook from Biden and others focuses on anti-vaccine information spread on Facebook.
“The biggest criticisms are against a group called the ‘disinformation dozen,’ which are a set of accounts that are primarily responsible for the bulk of the anti-vaccine misinformation out there.”
Highlights from this segment:
– The majority of vaccine misinformation comes from several authors, doctors and activists who are known vaccine opponents. The most well-known is environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
– Conspiracy theories spread widely on Facebook, and on the company’s other platforms, claim COVID-19 vaccines are not safe, and even that those who take them are implanted with a microchip. That is not true, and would be scientifically impossible.
– Facebook says it has removed more than 18 million pieces of COVID-19 misinformation.
– Potential government responses to misinformation could threaten free-speech rights of posters and social media platforms.