Facebook is no stranger to receiving criticism for the way it handles hate speech and misinformation. However, that criticism came from an unexpected source last week when singer Selena Gomez posted a scathing take-down of Facebook on her Twitter feed, accusing the social media giant of endangering lives by allowing false COVID-19 info to spread.
“Scientific disinformation has and will cost lives,” Gomez posted. “@Facebook said they don’t allow lies about COVID and vaccines to be spread on their platforms. So how come all of this is still happening? Facebook is going to be responsible for thousands of deaths if they don’t take action now!”
This post wasn’t the first time that Gomez has gone after Facebook. Earlier in December, she posted a screenshot of an Instagram message she sent to both Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg imploring them to “Please shut down groups and users focused on spreading hate speech, violence and misinformation.”
For its part, Facebook said it has instituted policies to stop the spread of COVID-19-related misinformation on its site. However, as Gomez correctly notes, much of this toxic content can still be found circulating on the platform anyway. So while celebrities may not be tech experts, she’s dead-on in this case about what Facebook must to do improve its user experience.
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