Biden urges Facebook to take action on vaccine misinformation

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President Joe Biden took a softer tone when talking about Facebook Inc (FB.O), after he said last week that the social media company is “killing people” by allowing misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines. Biden told reporters that he intended to indict dozens of users who spread the most misinformation on the social media platform, but not the company itself as Reuters reported.

“Facebook doesn’t kill people,” he said. “These 12 people give false information. Anyone who listens to it gets hurt because of it. It kills people. It’s bad information.”

He also said he hopes Facebook will do more to stop the spread of misinformation.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki also tried to clarify Biden’s comments. “We are not at war or a battle with Facebook, we are in a battle with the virus,” she said.

During the pandemic, misinformation about the coronavirus has spread on social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and Google-owned Alphabet. Researchers and lawmakers have long accused Facebook of failing to monitor harmful content on its platforms.

When asked on Friday about his message to Facebook and other social media platforms, Biden replied: “They’re killing people…Look, the only epidemic we have is among the unvaccinated. And they’re killing people.”

Facebook responded sharply last week, saying that 85% of its users have had or wanted to be vaccinated. “President Biden’s goal was to have 70% of Americans vaccinated by the Fourth of July,” Facebook said in a company blog written by Jay Rosen, the company’s vice president.

The company has introduced rules against making specific false claims about COVID-19 and vaccines to prevent the disease, and says it provides people with reliable information on these topics.



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