Facebook Pressed on COVID-19 Vaccine Disinformation by US State Attorneys General

The attorneys common of 14 US states despatched a letter to Fb CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking if the highest disseminators of vaccine disinformation on the platform acquired particular remedy from the corporate.

The road of inquiry was generated after Fb whistleblower Frances Haugen used inner paperwork to reveal that the social media platform has constructed a system that exempts high-profile customers from some or all of its guidelines.

Within the letter, which was despatched on Wednesday, the 14 Democratic attorneys common mentioned they’re “extraordinarily involved” with latest reviews that Fb maintained lists of members who’ve acquired particular remedy and wish to know if the “Disinformation Dozen” have been a part of these lists.

The Middle for Countering Digital Hate describes the “Disinformation Dozen” as 12 anti-vaxxers who’re accountable for nearly two-thirds of anti-vaccine content material circulating on social media platforms.

Fb spokesman Alex Burgos pointed to earlier feedback by the corporate that it had eliminated over three dozen pages, teams, and Fb or Instagram accounts linked to these 12 individuals, together with no less than one linked to every of the 12, for violating its insurance policies. It has additionally utilized penalties to a few of their web site domains.

COVID-19 disinformation has proliferated in the course of the pandemic on social media websites together with Fb, Twitter, and YouTube. Researchers and lawmakers have lengthy accused Fb of failing to police dangerous content material on its platforms.

In July, US President Joe Biden mentioned social media platforms like Fb “are killing individuals” for permitting misinformation about coronavirus vaccines to be posted on its platform.

Haugen, a former product supervisor on Fb’s civic misinformation workforce, left the corporate with tens of 1000’s of confidential paperwork and has known as for transparency about how Fb entices customers to maintain scrolling, creating ample alternative for advertisers to achieve them.

The letter was despatched by the attorneys common of Connecticut, California, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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