Facebook continued back on Saturday against President Biden’s social media comment forums “killed people” COVID-19 incorrect information, a blog post on its integrity by Vice President Guy Rosen. The message states that “the facts tell a very different story than the government has mentioned in recent days.”
“At a time when COVID-19 cases are on the rise in America, the Biden administration has decided to blame a handful of American social media companies,” Rosen wrote. “While social media has an important role to play in society, it is clear that we need a whole-of-society approach to end this pandemic. And the facts – not the allegations – should help tell the story of the effort.”
(The title of the message was “Moving past the pointing of a finger: support for COVID-19 vaccines is high on Facebook and growing.”)
On Friday, NBC News reporter Peter Alexander asked Biden what his message was for “platforms like Facebook.” The president replied, “They’re killing people … the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated, and they’re killing people.” See exchange below:
According to Rosen’s message, Facebook has worked with Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the University of Maryland global research COVID-19 symptoms, testing, and vaccination levels. The results, Rosen writes, show that 85 percent of U.S. Facebook users are or want to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. “President Biden’s goal was for 70% of Americans to be vaccinated by July 4. Facebook is no reason to miss that goal,” Rosen added.
Biden’s comment came amid growing White House pressure against Facebook and other social forums to better stop coronavirus vaccine abuses on their sites. Thursday’s report from Surgeon General Vivek Murthy the health information encounter included recommendations to various stakeholders, including technology platforms, individuals, educators, health professionals, funders, researchers, suppliers, and governments. The recommendations for the platforms included proposals to “improve the monitoring of misinformation” and “improve communication between trusted ambassadors and subject matter experts”.
Murthy told reporters that Facebook’s product features “reward us for sharing emotionally downloaded content, not exact content,” adding that the algorithms on social media sites “give us more of what we click, pulling us deeper into the pit of false information”.
In Saturday’s release, Rosen claimed Facebook had already taken action Murthy’s recommendations.
A Facebook spokesman said Friday that the facts did not support the “accusations.” Several Republicans also expressed concern about the White House’s efforts; Congressman Ken Buck (R-CO) said the White House was “collaborating with Facebook to censor Americans.”
The White House did not respond immediately to the request for comment on Saturday.