Joe Biden made a grave mistake. He clumsily took on Big Tech, specifically Facebook for their role in perpetuating “medical misinformation” for allowing posts related to vaccine hesitancy.
President Joe Biden and his administration are trying to soften their expressions of frustration with social media platforms over the spread of coronavirus misinformation online.
Biden and his aides are not considering regulatory or legal action to curb misinformation, particularly about COVID-19 shots as vaccination rates plateau, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
“We’re not in a war or a battle with Facebook. We’re in a battle with the virus,” she told reporters on Monday.
But the administration was not taking “any options off the table,” Psaki said. She added that misinformation was being circulated by some media outlets and public officials.
Earlier Monday, Biden clarified his comment from over the weekend that Facebook was “killing people” because “the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated.”
WH Press Sec. Jen Psaki: “We are not in a war or a battle with Facebook, we are in a battle with the virus … inaccurate information about vaccines is killing people.” pic.twitter.com/ZBf2laL4YW
— The Recount (@therecount) July 19, 2021
The White House has repeated that 12 people are responsible for roughly 65% of anti-vaccine digital misinformation. All of them have active Facebook accounts even though some have been banned from other platforms owned by the social media giant, Psaki said last week.
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has been spearheading an administration campaign to encourage technology companies to police misinformation more aggressively. The strategy includes asking them to provide data regarding the reach of problematic posts.
Facebook has been aggressively responding to the White House’s messaging. A spokesperson claimed over the weekend the administration is “looking for scapegoats” after missing its vaccine goal.
Author: Asa McCue