US President Biden clarified that COVID-19 vaccine misinformation on Facebook harmed people.
United States President Joe Biden recently clarified that COVID-19 vaccine misinformation on Facebook harmed people, while partially walking back a statement he made last week in which he told reporters that social media platforms were “killing people” by allowing COVID-19 misinformation to spread.
“Facebook isn’t killing people, these 12 people are out there giving misinformation. That’s what I meant. My hope is that Facebook, instead of taking it personally … that they would do something about the misinformation, the outrageous misinformation about the vaccine,” President Biden said.
It was last week when the White House ramped up its fight against COVID-19 vaccine information in reports and statements directly tying social media platforms to increasing coronavirus cases.
When asked a question about social media last Friday, President Biden told reporters that social media platforms were “killing people”.
“The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated, and they’re killing people,” President Biden said to reporters.
President Biden’s statement was broadly received as a criticism of Facebook, a company White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki criticized last week.
Reached for comment, a spokesperson from Facebook defended the company’s actions against COVID-19 vaccine misinformation.
“We will not be distracted by accusations which aren’t supported by facts. The facts show that Facebook is helping save lives. Period,” the spokesperson said.
Based on a report from The New York Times last week, tensions between Facebook and the White House had been escalating for months. It remained to be seen if the White House will take more direct action in order to influence Facebook moderation.
When asked if he would hold Facebook directly accountable, President Biden on Monday said that he wasn’t trying to hold people accountable.
“I’m trying to make people look at themselves in the mirror. Think about that misinformation going to your son, your daughter, your relative, someone you love. That’s all I’m asking,” President Biden said.
What can you say about this? Let us know in the comments below.