The Facebook platform appears to be on its way to clashing with the US government again, this time due to its role in amplifying misinformation about the coronavirus vaccine, as it has been cited as a major obstacle on the nation’s path to recovery from the pandemic.
When US President Joe Biden was asked about vaccine misinformation on Facebook, He said: It kills people by allowing vaccine conspiracy theories to spread.
Biden’s comment came after the White House also indicated that he is in regular contact with social media platforms to ensure they stay up to date with the latest narratives that pose a public health risk.
In response to Biden’s comments, Facebook launched the attack, with its spokesperson saying: “We will not be distracted by accusations that are not supported by facts.”
Facebook followed this up with an official response in post She says: The Biden administration has chosen to blame a handful of American social media companies at a time when coronavirus cases are increasing in America.
She added: “Social media plays an important role in society, and it is clear that we need a whole community approach to end this pandemic.” Vaccine acceptance among Facebook users in the United States has increased. These and other facts tell a very different story than the administration has been promoting in recent times.
The post continues to highlight several studies that show that Facebook’s efforts to address hesitation about a vaccine are effective, and that its users are less resistant to vaccine efforts, contrary to Biden’s statements.
This is very much in line with Facebook’s broader stance recently. Based on academic research, there is currently no definitive link between increased hesitation about a vaccine and engagement on Facebook.
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Facebook rejects the statements of the US President
In recent months, the company has taken a more proactive approach to dismissing these ideas by making clear that misleading content is detrimental to its business.
According to Facebook, all social media platforms reflect what is happening in society and what is on people’s minds at any given moment. This includes the good, the bad and the ugly. And in the weeks leading up to the World Cup, posts about football increase. This is because that’s what people think and not because our algorithms show people content about football.
The company’s vice president of global affairs took a similar angle in March about the news feed being an interaction between people and the platform, meaning the platform itself can’t be entirely blamed.
“The goal is to make sure you see what you find most important,” he said. And you can think of this kind as a spam filter in your inbox. It helps filter out content that you don’t find meaning and prioritizes the content you want.
The company minimizes the distribution of misleading content. And it downgrades misleading or exaggerated headlines and health claims touting miracle cures. In addition to posts that expressly seek to induce users to interact with them.
Despite these claims and references to academic papers and internal studies, the broader evidence does not support Facebook’s position.
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