Joe Biden recently sharply criticized Facebook and other major social media platforms for spreading misinformation related to COVID-19 and vaccinations. He stated: “They are killing people. I’m serious. The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. “
A Facebook spokesman replied, “We will not be distracted by accusations that are not supported by facts.” Now, Facebook has published a long blog post describing the company’s active role in combating disinformation and its overall engagement in the fight against COVID-19.
Let’s list the main points:
- Since the start of the pandemic, over 2 billion people have viewed authoritative information about COVID-19 and vaccines on Facebook. This includes over 3.3 million Americans who use Facebook to search for vaccines, find out where to get the COVID-19 vaccine and make appointments.
- More than 50% of people in the US on Facebook have already seen someone vaccinated against COVID-19. When people see that their friends are vaccinated, it reinforces their belief that vaccines are safe. A message from a friend who has been vaccinated is undoubtedly more effective than a message from a large corporation or the federal government
- Since the start of the pandemic, we have removed over 18 million copies of COVID-19 disinformation
- We’ve also tagged and reduced the visibility of over 167 million pieces of COVID-19 content denied by our network of fact-checking partners.
The company claims that about 85% of Facebook users in the US have been or are seeking vaccinations, a number that has skyrocketed since the end of last year.