Joe Biden, the current and the 46th President of the U.S., recently slammed Facebook and the other large social media platforms with some really harsh words. When an NBC News reporter asked the President about the spread of misinformation related to COVID-19 and its vaccines on such social media sites, Biden said "They’re killing people". He continued by stating "The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated".
Facebook clearly took issue with these statements and a company spokesperson responded by saying, "We will not be distracted by accusations which aren’t supported by the facts". Earlier today, the social media giant published a blog post discussing its active role in combating misinformation and the general engagement that it has been involved in for fighting against COVID-19.
Here are the steps Facebook says that it's taken in order to help:
Since the pandemic began, more than 2 billion people have viewed authoritative information about COVID-19 and vaccines on Facebook. This includes more than 3.3 million Americans using our vaccine finder tool to find out where to get a COVID-19 vaccine and make an appointment to do so.
More than 50% of people in the US on Facebook have already seen someone use the COVID-19 vaccine profile frames, which we developed in collaboration with the US Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC. From what we have seen, when people see a friend share they have been vaccinated, it increases their perceptions that vaccines are safe.
We’re continuing to encourage everyone to use these tools to show their friends they’ve been vaccinated. For those who are hesitant, hearing from a friend who’s been vaccinated is undoubtedly more impactful than hearing from a large corporation or the federal government.
Since the beginning of the pandemic we have removed over 18 million instances of COVID-19 misinformation.
We have also labeled and reduced the visibility of more than 167 million pieces of COVID-19 content debunked by our network of fact-checking partners so fewer people see it and — when they do — they have the full context.
All this has helped says Facebook according to surveys that it has been conducting in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Maryland since April last year. The company claims that around 85% of Facebook users in the U.S. have been or are willing to get vaccinated, a number that shows a sharp rise since the end of last year.