It has become increasingly clear in recent years that Facebook has a problem controlling the spread of dangerous misinformation on its platform. And this week, it also became apparent that the most powerful lawmakers in the country have finally had enough. The White House publicly stepped up pressure on the social media giant to remove misinformation quicker, while the surgeon general of the U.S. called misinformation “a serious threat to public health.”
While misinformation in general is a problem, the White House is particularly concerned about harmful content surrounding COVID-19 and vaccines. According to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, the White House itself has even begun flagging posts and reporting them to Facebook.
“Facebook needs to move more quickly to remove violative posts,” Psaki said during a briefing. “Posts that will be within their policies’ removal often remain up for days. That’s too long. The information spreads too quickly.”
“We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation,” she continued. “We’re working with doctors and medical experts… who are popular with their audience with accurate information. So, we’re helping get trusted content out there.”
There’s a strong argument to be made that politicians should not interfere with speech on Facebook or any other social media platform. However, at least Facebook is being put under more pressure to do something.
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