the american president Joe Biden blames social networks in a recent statement in which he blames them for the defamation of COVID-19 vaccines. The false news (“fake news“), circulate freely in publications and comments on platforms such as Facebook and Biden claims that social media is “killing people” and directly harming the US vaccination campaign.
Currently, the country is experiencing a pandemic within a pandemic. This is because a portion of the population was vaccinated against COVID-19, but another still resists an anti-vaccination movement, against the immunization of its residents. According to the president, “the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated.” The problem spreads when this portion of the population refuses to take a dose of any vaccine and attacks the pro-immunizing campaign, further extending the deadline for the end of the pandemic, which is already closing its second year.
COVID-19’s disinformation about vaccines
The campaign’s goal was to vaccinate 70% of the population until the 4th of July, Independence Day in the country, an important historical date for the Americans. However, the results reached 67%, with a bonus of thousands of people who even showed interest in getting the vaccine.
In a parameter of the state of the pandemic in the country, the cases of COVID-19 increased 70% in just a week. The deaths had 26% high. The numbers advance mainly in places where there is less engagement in vaccination. The government estimates that one of the main causes of this wave of rejection of vaccines is the Facebook, one of the biggest social networks used today.
Among names like Twitter and YouTube, US authorities accuse the company of Mark Zuckerberg of not adhering to sure-fire fighting policies against the spread of false news about vaccination. In a public release, the Facebook he claims to be cooperating with the investigation of doubtful information and reiterates his actions in favor of vaccinating the public. Although explanatory, the company’s speech did not seem very happy with the legislators’ accusations.
THE Facebook endorses that 3.3 million Americans, users of the social network, used the mechanism to locate vaccines and where to find them within the platform. According to the company, 18 million false information about the new coronavirus were removed.
Guy Rosen, vice president of integrity at Facebook, revealed data that point to a 50% decrease in the population’s hesitation about the vaccine, as well as 85% said they had been vaccinated or are interested in being immunized. “This and other facts tell a very different story from the one promoted by the government in recent days”, he says. Furthermore, Rosen stated that the Facebook it has done its part, contrary to what the authorities accuse.
In a rejoinder, Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, said online interaction platforms, including the Facebook, have done as little but not enough to combat misinformation about vaccines. “Obviously, they took a few steps, but it’s clear that there are more things that can be done,” he said. The official secretary reported that, according to the report of the Center for Combating Digital Hate (CCDH) published in May of this year, only 12 people were responsible for generating almost 65% of incorrect information on social media.
THE Facebook was against the methodology and says that it encourages the use of vaccination tools for all its users. THE YouTube it’s the Twitter, places of great circulation of information, have not yet taken a position on the matter.
The disagreement between US authorities and the Facebook they expose the common need to combat the lack of information about COVID-19 – or its bad-faith manipulation –, especially in the digital environment. As long as there is resistance from the anti-vaccination movement, it will become increasingly difficult to obtain satisfactory results from the national vaccination campaign, in addition to the significant change in the number of hospitalizations and deaths.
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Sources: DW | CNBC