F.Coronavirus and vaccination information on social media such as Facebook is responsible for the deaths of many people, according to American President Joe Biden. When asked by a reporter what message he had given the spread of misinformation for platforms like Facebook, Biden said, “They’re killing people.” The pandemic in the US has become a “pandemic among unvaccinated people,” said Biden on Friday (local time) in the garden of the White House. Facebook immediately rejected Biden’s accusation as unfounded.
The US government makes misinformation on social networks jointly responsible for the wait-and-see or negative attitude of many Americans towards the corona vaccines. In the USA, the number of new infections has recently risen again rapidly in areas with a lower vaccination rate, driven by the particularly contagious Delta variant.
56 percent of Americans first vaccinated
The vaccination campaign, on the other hand, is only making slow progress. According to the CDC health authority, a good 185 million people have received at least the first corona vaccination so far – this corresponds to around 56 percent of the entire population.
Facebook resisted Biden’s criticism. “We will not be distracted by allegations that are not backed up by facts,” said a company spokesman. It is a fact that more than two billion people have found important and accurate information about the coronavirus on Facebook. In addition, 3.3 million Americans have used Facebook’s feature that allows users to find out how and where they can be vaccinated. “The facts show that Facebook helps save lives. Period, ”said the spokesman.
The US government stepped up its criticism of social media this week. Facebook must remove posts that violate the guidelines and are incorrect, said White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki. Some posts would stay online for days. “It’s too long, information is spreading too quickly,” said Psaki. About two-thirds of the misinformation only goes back to a dozen accounts, which is why Facebook could easily take action against it, argued Psaki. False claims such as the rumor that corona vaccinations could allegedly lead to infertility must be dealt with, she said.
The U.S. government’s top health official, Vivek Murthy, officially declared the misinformation to be a health risk on Thursday. “We live in a world today where misinformation is an immediate and insidious threat to our nation’s health,” he said. During the pandemic, misinformation resulted in people not wearing masks. Now people would choose not to get vaccinated because of this. Modern technology companies have made it possible for “misinformation to poison our information environment,” he complained.
On average, according to the CDC, the USA recently recorded a good 26,000 new infections per day, an increase of almost 70 percent compared to the previous week. The number of people admitted to hospital with Covid-19 and the number of deaths reported per week also rose again recently. “We are seeing outbreaks of cases in parts of the country that have low vaccination rates,” said CDC chief Rochelle Walensky. In regions where many people have been vaccinated, the situation is much better. “This is becoming a pandemic for the unvaccinated,” she warned.