[WATCH] POTUS Says Facebook, Other Platforms Are ‘Killing People’ By Allowing Spread of COVID Misinformation
President Joe Biden said Friday social media platforms like Facebook are “killing people” with misinformation surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic as the White House ramps up its rhetoric around false information on social media regarding the pandemic.
“They’re killing people — I mean they’re really, look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated,” President Biden told reporters as he left the White House for Camp David. “And they’re killing people.”
US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy warned Thursday health misinformation is “a serious threat to public health,” and the administration directly called out social media giant Facebook for not doing enough to stop the spread of false information on its platform. White House officials who had taken concerns about vaccine misinformation to Facebook had concluded that the company was either not “taking this very seriously, or they are hiding something,” due to what they view as Facebook’s unwillingness to tackle vaccine misinformation.
Earlier Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki blasted social media platforms for taking insufficient action on misinformation.
Doocy: For how long has the administration been spying on people’s Facebook profiles looking for vaccine misinformation?
Psaki: That was quite a loaded and inaccurate question pic.twitter.com/RB2ySmebU1
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 16, 2021
“Why don’t we all participate in a process that will help provide accurate information out there?” Psaki said.
The White House doesn’t find Facebook’s response and information sharing surrounding vaccine misinformation sufficient, Psaki said Friday.
On Thursday, Psaki cited four actions the administration wants social media platforms to take: measure and publicly share the impact of misinformation on their platform, implement a more robust enforcement strategy, take faster action against harmful posts and promote quality information in their feed algorithm.
Facebook did respond to the President’s remarks late Friday afternoon.
— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) July 16, 2021
Will that stop the spread of misinformation on social media? Of course not, say experts. Watch MSNBC’s coverage of the President’s remarks, below.