US President Joe Biden has said the wide spread of Covid-19 misinformation on social media can be linked to many of the virus deaths being witnessed all over. He said this while responding to a question from a reporter regarding the alleged role of platforms like Facebook in spreading Covid-19 misinformation.
The white house has challenged social media companies to take a lead in tackling the wide spread of misinformation.
“They’re killing people,” President Biden said told reporters at the White House.
“The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated.” he said.
The US has reported a spike in Covid-19 infections and deaths especially among the unvaccinated communities. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that social media platforms were not doing enough to curb misinformation surrounding the vaccines.
“Obviously there are steps they have taken,” it’s clear that there is more that can be done.” she said.
On its part, Facebook said it is undertaking aggressive action to protect the public’s health. A spokesman for the company, Kevin McAlistar said the network would “not be distracted by accusations which aren’t supported by facts.”
“We’ve removed more than 18 million pieces of Covid-19 misinformation (and) removed accounts that repeatedly break these rules,” Facebook said in a statement.
Facebook and Twitter last year implemented a series of functions in a bid to curb misinformation on the platform. Both companies currently flag information deemed as false and refer users to trustworthy sources such as the official pages of the World Health Organization (WHO). However, due to the high volumes of information being spread online, it is possible that a huge chunk go unnoticed.