US President Joe Biden criticized social media platforms such as Facebook for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus and vaccines on Friday, because his government accused these platforms of delaying US vaccination rates.
On Friday afternoon, Biden was asked by reporters at the White House what he had conveyed to social media platforms about the coronavirus misinformation.
“They are killing people,” Biden said when asked by reporters what his information on social media platforms such as Facebook was about the spread of false and misleading statements about the virus and the safety of the vaccine that prevents it.
Biden said on the South Lawn of the White House: “I mean they really, look, our only epidemic is people who have not been vaccinated, and that is – they are killing people.”
Biden’s comments on Friday afternoon echoed those of Rochelle Varensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who warned earlier in the day that COVID-19 is “becoming an unvaccinated epidemic”.
Valensky told reporters at a public health briefing: “We have seen cases in parts of the country where vaccination coverage is low because people who have not been vaccinated are at risk.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at the daily press conference that Facebook has not done enough to prevent the spread of false information about the coronavirus.
Psaki added that the White House has made some recommendations to Facebook and other platforms to address the spread of misinformation, including deleting 12 people. She said they are responsible for nearly 65% of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms.
With the Biden administration pushing for more people to be vaccinated, U.S. surgeon Vivek Mersey issued a recommendation on Thursday to mark health misinformation as an “emergency threat.”
Murthy said that although the vaccine is widely available, misinformation is one of a series of reasons why some Americans are not vaccinated against COVID-19.
In an appearance on Thursday in the White House briefing room, Mersey said: “Modern technology companies have poisoned our information environment by misinformation, and have little responsibility for their users.” “They allow people who deliberately spread misinformation—we call it. ‘False information’-has extraordinary influence.”
The White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the White House requires Facebook and other social media companies to more actively delete “harmful” posts that spread false information and mark posts that spread information.
“We regularly ensure that social media platforms are aware of the latest statements that endanger public health that we and many other Americans see on all social media and traditional media, and we work hard to engage with them to better understand the enforcement of social media platforms. Policy,” Psaki told reporters on Friday.