US President Joe Biden has stated that misinformation being posted on social media in regards to Covid-19 is “killing people”.
Biden was responding to a question from a reporter about the role in which social media companies play in preventing misinformation being spread across their sites.
There has been an increase in pressure from the White House in regards to tackling misinformation about vaccines and the Covid-19 pandemic with Facebook stating that it’s taking “aggressive action” to protect public health.
Biden told reporters at the White House on Friday, “The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated.”
In relation to preventing the spread of Covid-19 misinformation, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated that Facebook and other social media platforms were not doing enough to tackle the issue.
“We’re dealing with a life or death issue here and so everybody has a role to play in making sure there’s accurate information,”.
Psaki also talked about additional steps that Facebook and other social media companies can take to tackle the issue, which includes publicly sharing the impact of misinformation on their platform, promoting quality information and taking faster action against harmful posts.
Facebook spokesman Kevin McAlister stated that the company will “not be distracted by accusations which aren’t supported by the facts”.
He added that Facebook has removed over 18 million pieces of Covid-19 misinformation as well as Facebook accounts which repeatedly break the rules.