Facebook accused of ‘killing people’ by Joe Biden, company responds

United States President Joe Biden attacked social networks, promoting disinformation about vaccines against the Covid-19. This attack thus reflects the concern of the White House in front of the propagation of the Delta variant among unvaccinated people.

attack on the white house

As Biden left for Camp David on Friday, a reporter from NBC News ask him : “Regarding disinformation, what is your message for platforms like Facebook?”. To which Biden replied:

They are killing people. Look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated people, and they’re killing people.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, stated that he had had discussions with Facebook and that now they reported problematic posts spreading disinformation. She declared:

There are around 12 people who produce 65% of the anti-vaccine misinformation on social media, all of which remain active on Facebook, while some have been banned on other platforms.

The quote from the twelve people seemed to be a reference to a report by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, who has identified an anti-vaccine group comprising Joseph Mercola, Robert Kennedy Jr. as well as Ty and Charlene Bollinger.

But Psaki’s remarks aroused the ire of Conservative Party figures, who claimed that White House pressured Facebook to censor content. During the White House press briefing on Friday, Psaki continued to criticize social media, calling for greater transparency. She protested the fact that one could be banned from one platform for providing incorrect information, but that one could continue on others.

the response from facebook

Facebook has defended itself on actions it has taken to root disinformation from its platform, but the White House has called on the company to take bigger action. In response to Biden’s comment, Dani Lever, Facebook spokesperson, said :

We will not be distracted by accusations that are not supported by the facts. The point is, more than 2 billion people have seen authoritative information about Covid-19 and vaccines on Facebook, more than any other place on the internet. More than 3.3 million Americans have also used our vaccine finder to find out where and how to get vaccinated. The facts show that Facebook is helping to save lives. Period.

Joe Biden’s statements about Facebook and social media are rooted in a deeper debate in the United States and around the world about fake news and disinformation. More and more governments are asking for greater vigilance of social networks, and to react as soon as certain statements are published, under penalty of sanction. We remember in France the Avia law, which had provoked many debates.

Source: Hitek : actualité geek et tests high tech by hitek.fr.

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