Facebook, Twitter Must Do More to Stop COVID-19 Anti-Vaxxers: US States


Attorneys basic for 12 US states on Wednesday accused Facebook and Twitter of doing too little to cease individuals from utilizing their platforms to unfold false info that coronavirus vaccines are unsafe.

In a letter to Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, the Democratic attorneys basic stated “anti-vaxxers” missing medical experience and infrequently motivated by monetary achieve have used the platforms to downplay the hazard of COVID-19 and exaggerate the dangers of vaccination.

They referred to as on each corporations to implement their very own group tips by eradicating or flagging vaccine misinformation.

The letter stated anti-vaxxers management 65 p.c of public anti-vaccine content material on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and have greater than 59 million followers on these platforms and Google’s YouTube.

It additionally stated some misinformation targets Blacks and different communities of color the place vaccination charges are lagging.

“Given anti-vaxxers’ reliance on your platforms, you are uniquely positioned to prevent the spread of misinformation about coronavirus vaccines that poses a direct threat to the health and safety of millions of Americans in our states and that will prolong our road to recovery,” the letter stated.

Facebook spokeswoman Dani Lever stated the corporate has eliminated hundreds of thousands of items of COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation, and tries to fight “vaccine hesitancy” by usually directing customers to dependable info from well being authorities.

Twitter stated it has eliminated greater than 22,400 tweets in reference to its coverage towards COVID-19 posts, and prioritises eradicating content material that might trigger “real-world” hurt.

Wednesday’s letter was signed by the attorneys basic of Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia.

Zuckerman, Dorsey, and Sundar Pichai, the chief government of Google guardian Alphabet, are scheduled to testify on Thursday earlier than two House of Representatives subcommittees about combating on-line disinformation.

The coronavirus pandemic has sickened greater than 124 million individuals worldwide, and triggered greater than 2.7 million deaths.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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