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Biden says Facebook, others 'killing people' by carrying COVID misinformation

Stock MarketsJul 16, 2021 08:10PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S. July 16, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst 2/2

By Nandita Bose and Elizabeth Culliford

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday said social media platforms like Facebook "are killing people" for allowing misinformation about coronavirus vaccines to be posted on its platform, as the administration continued criticizing the company.

"They're killing people. ... Look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. And they're killing people," Biden told reporters at the White House when asked about misinformation and what his message was to social media platforms such as Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)'s.

COVID-19 misinformation has proliferated during the pandemic on social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Inc-owned YouTube. Researchers and lawmakers have long accused Facebook of failing to police harmful content on its platforms.

The company has introduced rules against making specific false claims about COVID-19 and vaccines for it, and says it provides people reliable information on these topics.

“We will not be distracted by accusations which aren’t supported by the facts," Facebook spokesman Kevin McAlister said on Friday. "The fact is that more than 2 billion people have viewed authoritative information about COVID-19 and vaccines on Facebook, which is more than any other place on the internet.

"More than 3.3 million Americans have also used our vaccine finder tool to find out where and how to get a vaccine. The facts show that Facebook is helping save lives. Period," he said.

Twitter and YouTube did not respond to requests for comment.

The Delta variant of the coronavirus is now the dominant strain worldwide, accompanied by a surge of deaths around the United States almost entirely among unvaccinated people, U.S. officials said on Friday.

American cases of COVID-19 https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/countries-and-territories/united-states are up 70% over the previous week and deaths are up 26%, with outbreaks occurring in parts of the country with low vaccination rates.

Earlier on Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki also criticized Facebook.

"Obviously, there are steps they have taken. They're a private-sector company, Psaki told a White House briefing. "There are additional steps they can take. It's clear that there are more that can be taken."

On Thursday, she said https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-surgeon-general-warns-over-covid-19-misinformation-2021-07-15 the Biden administration was in regular contact with Facebook and was flagging problematic posts.

Psaki said 12 people were responsible for almost 65% of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms. The finding was reported in May by the Washington- and London-based nonprofit Center for Countering Digital Hate, but Facebook has disputed the methodology.

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has also raised the alarm over the growing wave of misinformation about COVID-19 and related vaccines. On Thursday, he said it was making it harder to fight the pandemic and save lives.

Biden says Facebook, others 'killing people' by carrying COVID misinformation
 

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Comments (35)
kunal parekh
kunal parekh Jul 17, 2021 2:12AM ET
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lol... no one can say anything for their scams....
Mohd Asmadibin Ramli Ramli
Mohd Asmadibin Ramli Ramli Jul 17, 2021 2:12AM ET
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yesthiscorret place
Eudon Hickey
Eudon Hickey Jul 17, 2021 1:30AM ET
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Facebook is a government channel
Vincent Li
Vincent Li Jul 17, 2021 12:26AM ET
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The fed is taking money of the table
Jody Darden
Jody Darden Jul 16, 2021 11:07PM ET
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The question is whether privileged elites should dominate mass-communication, and should use this power as they tell us they must, namely, to impose necessary illusions, manipulate and deceive the stupid majority, and remove them from the public arena.
Robert Cutler
Robert Cutler Jul 16, 2021 10:45PM ET
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How about putting a booth at each vac site manned? by a black transgender with a raging covid infection so those who choose can catch covid and get on w/life
carl mars
carl mars Jul 16, 2021 10:38PM ET
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The number one killer in the US is obesity, and these people are handing out free donuts to convince you to get a non-FDA approved experimental vaccine for something that kills almost exclusively obese people (over 80% of COVID hospitalizations are among obese people). These people are out there labeling people who say being obese is unhealthy as "fat shaming", but it is people who have an opinion contrary to the government that are responsible for killing people?
Tom Woosley
Tom Woosley Jul 16, 2021 10:30PM ET
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It never ceases to amaze me how quick some are to label something as "misinformation" with no effort to prove it wrong. Apparently if it goes against their own agenda it's fair game. Personally, I'm offended that another individual feels the obligation to separate fact from fiction for me as if I'm not capable of making that determination on my own. I'm not so gullible to accept everything on Facebook, in the mainstream media, or most of all, from government officials that say they know what's best for me.
carl mars
carl mars Jul 16, 2021 10:30PM ET
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It's a classic marxist tactic, it is not about facts/truth it is about control/power and controlling the narrative. We see similar in places like China and North Korea. Just look at socialist countries throughout history: China, North Korea, Soviet Union, Cuba, Na.zz.i Germany (Hit.t.ler was a democratic socialist).
warren yost
warreny Jul 16, 2021 10:12PM ET
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Facebook is a social medium, not an on-line encyclopedia of facts. Holding Facebook responsible to monitor content is like asking a stationery distributor to be responsible for what people write on it. Should government appoint a board of monitors to snoop through content to flag inaccuracies or non-conformist opinion?  The internet now dominates professional journals as purveyors of information, and shoddy research, unqualified opinion pieces, where anyone can pretend to be a physician, a lawyer, or scientist are unfortunate consequences that accompany the revolution in communication that the computer and internet have provided for mankind.  People must learn to be discriminating in identifying sources they can count on and be guided about their health from their physicians or from designated government agencies, not from unfounded opinions on Facebook.
Forex Harbingers
Forex Harbingers Jul 16, 2021 9:57PM ET
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Ill make an educated guess here, and say the Lambda variant is next. And I can bet dollars to donuts, that our current vaccine will be ineffective against it.
Forex Harbingers
Forex Harbingers Jul 16, 2021 9:54PM ET
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The government and our elected officials are responsible for 99.5% of "Covid" deaths by the fear campaign they ran. The fear that led to a multi month mass buying panic that spread this virus faster than anything else. Then the institution of lockdowns, that through studies has shown did more harm than good. And now that vaccine "goals" weren't met, we now have a new wave of fear propaganda. YOU are responsible.
Kelly Mayer
Kelly Mayer Jul 16, 2021 9:23PM ET
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c19early.com - make this go viral and end vaccine fanaticism once and for all.
Joseph Armour
Joseph Armour Jul 16, 2021 8:35PM ET
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No doubt we will see laws creating felony charges against individuals who promote misinformation. Misinformation being anything those in power don't want people to tell each other. Hmmmmm, what does that sound like? Oh, I know, Russia!!!!
Andrew Allen
Andrew Allen Jul 16, 2021 8:35PM ET
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That's why politicians accuse everyone else of being an evil Russian spy, so they can be evil themselves unquestioned
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Jul 16, 2021 8:32PM ET
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The vaccines never went through standard 2 year clinical trials
Black Beard
Black Beard Jul 16, 2021 8:32PM ET
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According to Biden that is missinformation. I'm no anti vax but a rushed vaccine is a rushed vaccine.
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Jul 16, 2021 6:20PM ET
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Put Kamala Harris in charge of Coronavirus. She's got plenty of time.  Lol
Theo Ross
Theo Ross Jul 16, 2021 6:12PM ET
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I've never seen so many complotist people than here. You guys in USA are incredible! Honestly, you're making me sick with your anti-medecine comments. I hope this new wave of COVID makes you loose some money on the market, it would be deserved. Uneducated people repeating what you read somewhere else, that's what you are. We can see smarter people on a Sunday morning in random dusty pubs in the countryside.
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Jul 16, 2021 6:12PM ET
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Go to a dusty pub and stay there.  It's not a pandemic that's what people are saying learn how to read
Brandon Wooton
Brandon Wooton Jul 16, 2021 6:12PM ET
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ludicrous pearl clutching
Ac Tektrader
Ac Tektrader Jul 16, 2021 5:58PM ET
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Because of trump's lies, and politicalization of the vaccines to cover up his incompetence. a lot of people will die or be crippled by these new variants.
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Jul 16, 2021 5:58PM ET
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A new variant? I'm still waiting on the old variant.  You wouldn't know a pandemic if it walked up and sat on your head
Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez Jul 16, 2021 5:58PM ET
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Check this guy out! Trump's lies 🤣 This guy's been living under a rock. You you still believe Sippy cup Joe won the election? The guy's a Fraud! Wake up and smell the coffee!
Kelly Mayer
Kelly Mayer Jul 16, 2021 5:58PM ET
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Do you even have a brain to filter whatever garbage the MSM feed you?
sally cornish
sally cornish Jul 16, 2021 5:00PM ET
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Last week in CA, they reported 9 cases of COVID among Capitol employees, 4 out of the 9 were vaccinated. Misinformation? Look it up yourself...while looking up all the warnings that the FDA is requiring on the bottle such as heart inflammation and auto-immune disorders while not FDA-approving the vaccines...
sally cornish
sally cornish Jul 16, 2021 4:58PM ET
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Last week in CA, they reported 9 cases of COVID among Capitol employees, 4 out of the 9 were vaccinated. Misinformation? Look it up yourself.
Tom Kline
Tom Kline Jul 16, 2021 4:53PM ET
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Biden and Harris both on the Campaign trail said they would not get any vaccine that Trump had anything to do with developing. They did not trust him. Then who was first in line to get the Vaccine as soon as the election was over? Biden and Harris. No one to blame but themselves. They started all the doubts.
Picaso Fish
Picaso_Fish Jul 16, 2021 4:53PM ET
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Your the problem, your statement is completely untrue.she will only follow instructions from health experts on whether to take a coronavirus vaccine, not President Trump.https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbsnews.com/amp/video/2020-vp-debate-kamala-harris-on-coronavirus-vaccine/
Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood Jul 16, 2021 4:38PM ET
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Biden is full of ****
Stuart Jim Cray
Stuart Jim Cray Jul 16, 2021 4:34PM ET
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Misinformation (noun): Any information with or without evidence that the Biden admin doesn't approve of.
David David
David9 Jul 16, 2021 4:31PM ET
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It is not just social media... the whole gang US media is all propaganda...
Connecticut Yankee
A_Jaundiced_Eye Jul 16, 2021 4:31PM ET
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100 % correct. It is not the Liberals that are responsible as much as the Liberal MEDIA.
Mark Jannetty
Mark Jannetty Jul 16, 2021 4:16PM ET
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the only misinformation is coming from the government. everyone should read "The Circle ". its basically the playbook that the Democrats and the media have been using
sally cornish
sally cornish Jul 16, 2021 3:48PM ET
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From the other article about this today "She said people should get the second dose of vaccine even if they have passed the recommended window of time for receiving it.".... how can people believe any of the garbage coming out of these people?" The vaccines are not even FDA approved and they do not even adhere to their own guidance. "Get these super duper safe and effective vaccines and you can go back to normal!" *few months later* "Okay these vaccines have just produced a more deadly variant that is preferentially spread over the original strain by vaccinated people since the vaccine puts selective pressure against the original strain...also, we known masks and lockdowns did nothing the first time around, but you better put those back on and we may lock things down again...also, the FDA has still not approved the vaccines, but has told us to put warnings about heart inflammation and auto-immune diseases on the bottles....and lets just forget about the whole deadly clots thing..."
sally cornish
sally cornish Jul 16, 2021 3:47PM ET
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This is at least the fourth propaganda article pumped out on the front page of this investing site today...another article about COVID deaths and they do not even report the number of deaths. There is a reason why, this is pure propaganda and the number of deaths is so small even with their misleading testing - which counts cases differently among vaccinated vs un-vaccinated people - that they are embarrassed to report it. The CDC changed the way they count cases in vaccinated versus unvaccinated people to produce these misleading numbers, for instance limiting PCR cycles in vaccinated people to reduce false positives and not counting asymptomatic/mild cases among vaccinated people. They are required to test all unvaccinated people entering hospitals for any reason, which produces a falsely high number of deaths among unvaccinated attributed to COVID. If they counted vaccinated and unvaccinated in same way, there would be no differential.
 
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