In February, Facebook made a broad pledge to crack down on misinformation surrounding COVID-19 and the vaccines created to treat it. However, according to a report this week in The New Web, the company hasn’t even come close to fulfilling its promise.
According to the report, not only is it still easy to find medical misinformation on Facebook, but the platform is actively recommending these groups and accounts to like-minded users.
“Facebook’s algorithm learns to recommend content to people that is in many cases inflammatory and misinformation, even when the platform says it wants to do the opposite,” social media misinformation expert Fadi Quran told The Next Web.
Additionally, some experts have been critical of the steps Facebook has taken to crack down on this problem, saying that they are merely surface-level attempts to fix it.
“Every time Facebook puts out a policy, it’s exhausting,” Media Matters senior researcher Madelyn Webb said. “You can’t just take down a piece of content and expect it to be gone; you have to look at the networks. It’s silly to claim that these actions are addressing misinformation in any way.”
As usual, Facebook wants to do as little as possible to make this problem go away. Thankfully, these advocates and media organizations are holding the company to account. Hopefully this consistent pressure forces Facebook to make a more meaningful effort in the fight against misinformation.
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