On Monday, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook will ban all misinformation surrounding Covid-19. In a Livestream with Dr Anthony Fauci where the two discussed the latest scenarios about the coronavirus.
Zuckerberg’s comments on Facebook received an immediate backlash from conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers. The gist of these tweets and comments were: “I’m not getting your vaccine, you quack.”
The present situation is so corrupt. Firms like #Facebook are a real threat to public health – their "fact checkers" are covering up important health information and actual crimes by Pharma firms & "philanthropic" NGOs involved in int'l racketeering and outright medical fraud.
— Patrick Henningsen (@21WIRE) December 3, 2020
Facebook offered up examples of the type of content that would be prohibited under this policy update, such as the false claim that coronavirus vaccines contain a microchip.
Earlier this week, The British Government, pushed through legislation to allow for a quick turn around on anew vaccine. As it announced it has authorised the use of the new Pfizer vaccine in the UK. In the process, becoming the first country to
You must self-isolate if you have tested positive for coronavirus or have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
— GOV.UK (@GOVUK) November 17, 2020
The social networking giant is taking on the coronavirus misinformation and has been increasingly pressured by government authorities for allowing the spread of Fake News on its platform. And Zuckerberg gave the examples of COVID-19 falsehoods that could result in harm early this year. Remember when people were drinking bleach in an attempt to fight off COVID-19?
Facebook is playing catchup with one of its competitors. In October, YouTube released a statement on a new policy that would prohibit misinformation about coronavirus vaccines on the platform.
However, Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms can do better. It seems completely reasonable that all racist and Islamophobic and fraudulent anti-vaccine misinformation, not just related to COVID-19, should be prohibited.
For now, Facebook will just take on coronavirus vaccine falsehoods, something the company couldn’t even control when they were running rampant on its own CEO’s Livestream.