Attorneys normal for 12 US states on Wednesday accused Facebook and Twitter of doing too little to cease folks from utilizing their platforms to unfold false info that coronavirus vaccines are unsafe.
In a letter to Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, the Democratic attorneys normal mentioned “anti-vaxxers” missing medical experience and infrequently motivated by monetary achieve have used the platforms to downplay the hazard of COVID-19 and exaggerate the dangers of vaccination.
They known as on each corporations to implement their very own neighborhood tips by eradicating or flagging vaccine misinformation.
The letter mentioned anti-vaxxers management 65 p.c of public anti-vaccine content material on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and have greater than 59 million followers on these platforms and Google’s YouTube.
It additionally mentioned some misinformation targets Blacks and different communities of color the place vaccination charges are lagging.
“Given anti-vaxxers’ reliance on your platforms, you are uniquely positioned to prevent the spread of misinformation about coronavirus vaccines that poses a direct threat to the health and safety of millions of Americans in our states and that will prolong our road to recovery,” the letter mentioned.
Facebook spokeswoman Dani Lever mentioned the corporate has eliminated tens of millions of items of COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation, and tries to fight “vaccine hesitancy” by recurrently directing customers to dependable info from well being authorities.
Twitter mentioned it has eliminated greater than 22,400 tweets in reference to its coverage towards COVID-19 posts, and prioritises eradicating content material that might trigger “real-world” hurt.
Wednesday’s letter was signed by the attorneys normal of Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia.
Zuckerman, Dorsey, and Sundar Pichai, the chief government of Google mother or father Alphabet, are scheduled to testify on Thursday earlier than two House of Representatives subcommittees about combating on-line disinformation.
The coronavirus pandemic has sickened greater than 124 million folks worldwide, and triggered greater than 2.7 million deaths.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
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