Facebook proceeded with its pushback Saturday against President Biden’s remark that social media platforms were “killing people” with COVID-19 deception in a blog post from its VP of uprightness Guy Rosen. The post expresses that the “realities recount an altogether different story to the one advanced by the organization as of late.”
“At a time when COVID-19 cases are rising in America, the Biden administration has chosen to blame a handful of American social media companies,” Rosen wrote. “While social media plays an important role in society, it is clear that we need a whole of society approach to end this pandemic. And facts — not allegations — should help inform that effort.”
On Friday, NBC News reporter Peter Alexander asked Biden what his message was “to platforms like Facebook.” The president replied: “they’re killing people … the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated, and they’re killing people.”
As per Rosen’s post, Facebook has worked with Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the University of Maryland on a global survey on COVID-19 manifestations, testing, and immunization rates. The outcomes, Rosen composes, show 85% of Facebook clients in the US have or need to be inoculated against the Covid. “President Biden’s objective was for 70% of Americans to be immunized by July 4. Facebook isn’t the explanation this objective was missed,” Rosen added.
Biden’s comment came amid growing pressure from the White House toward Facebook and other social platforms to stem better the flow of coronavirus vaccine misinformation on their sites. A Thursday report from Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on “confronting health information” included recommendations for different stakeholders, including tech platforms, individuals, educators, health professionals, funders, researchers, journalists, and governments. The recommendations for the platforms included suggestions to “strengthen the monitoring of misinformation” and “amplify communications from trusted messengers and subject matter experts.”
Murthy told reporters that Facebook product features “reward us for sharing emotionally charged content, not accurate content,” adding that social media sites’ algorithms “give us more of what we click on, pulling us deeper and deeper into a well of misinformation.”
A Facebook spokesperson said Friday that the “accusations” weren’t supported by the facts. Several Republicans also expressed concern about the White House’s efforts; Congressman Ken Buck (R-CO) said the White House was “colluding with Facebook to censor Americans.”