Posted: Jul 21, 2021 12:01 AM
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This week, President Joe Biden was asked whether he had any message for social media amidst a dramatic rise in the number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases thanks to the delta variant. Biden immediately responded that companies like Facebook were responsible for murder: “They’re killing people — I mean, they’re really, look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. And they’re killing people.” Meanwhile, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said that Facebook had not stopped misinformation thoroughly enough on its platform, calling misinformation a “serious threat to public health.”
None of this is accurate. Facebook is, first of all, a platform; it is not a publication with the same responsibilities of editorial oversight as a publisher. To treat Facebook as such would be to transform its purpose. Furthermore, on a purely factual level, it is simply untrue that Facebook users are disproportionately likely to avoid vaccination — in fact, according to Facebook’s statistics, vaccine acceptance in the United States among their