Facebook, Twitter need to do more to stop COVID-19 Anti-Vaxxers: USA

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Advocates general for 12 U.S. states on Wednesday accused Facebook and Twitter of doing too little to prevent people from using their platforms to spread false information that coronavirus vaccines are dangerous.

In a letter to Facebook Manager Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, the attorney general of the Democratic Party said that “anti-vaccines”, who have no medical experience and are often motivated by financial gain, have used the platforms to reduce the danger COVID-19 and exaggerate the risks of vaccination.

They called on both companies to impose their own guidelines on the community by removing or marking vaccine misinformation.

The letter says anti-vaxers control 65 percent of Facebook’s public anti-vaccine content, Instagram, and Twitter and have over 59 million followers on these platforms and Google YouTube.

It is also said that some misinformation is directed at blacks and other colored communities where vaccination levels are lagging behind.

“Given the dependence of anti-waxers on your platforms, you are uniquely positioned to prevent the spread of misinformation about coronavirus vaccines, which poses a direct threat to the health and safety of millions of Americans in our states and will prolong our recovery. “reads the letter.

Facebook spokesman Danny Lever said the company had removed millions of pieces of COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation and was trying to combat “vaccine fluctuations” by regularly directing users to reliable information from health authorities.

Twitter said it had removed more than 22,400 tweets in connection with its policy on COVID-19 publications and gave priority to removing content that could cause “real-world” harm.

The letter was signed Wednesday by attorneys general in Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia.

Zuckerman, Dorsey and Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google Parent Alphabet, must testify on Thursday before two subcommittees of the House of Representatives to combat online disinformation.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected more than 124 million people worldwide and caused more than 2.7 million deaths.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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