Biden: “Dangerous disinformation” on social networks, television fuels hesitation over vaccine

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Disinformation disseminated on social media platforms and cable TV fuels reluctance to immunize, President BidenJoe BidenFederal class action lawsuit filed for treatment of Haitian migrants Staff member who has been in contact with Biden tests positive for COVID-19 Overnight Defense & National Security – New rules attempt to tackle extremism in the ranks MORE said Tuesday.

“The unvaccinated are responsible for their own choices. But those choices have been fueled by dangerous misinformation on cable TV and social media, ”Biden said during remarks on the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These companies and personalities make money by peddling lies and allowing misinformation that can kill their own customers and their own supporters. It’s wrong. It is immoral. I call on the carriers of these lies and this disinformation to stop this, stop it now, ”he added.

Biden’s comments on Tuesday come as the omicron variant spreads across the country, now accounting for about three-quarters of COVID-19 cases in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Biden said vaccinated Americans, especially those who have received a booster, will be largely protected against serious illnesses caused by the omicron variant and has advocated that anyone who has not yet been vaccinated should do so.

“Let me tell you over and over and over and over again, please get the shot. It is the only responsible thing to do. Those who are not vaccinated are again overflowing hospitals, ”he said.

The latest comments build on pressure from the administration for social media companies to crack down on health misinformation.

In July, the Surgeon General Vivek MurthyVivek MurthyThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Charter Communications – Meadows assaulted; Biden hasn’t budged Manchin The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Charter Communications – Manchin not ready yet; Meadows Texts Unveiled Jill Biden, Emhoff Expected to Meet Waukesha Victims, Families MORE issued an advisory calling disinformation an “urgent threat” and calling on tech companies to take action against the false claims. At the time, Biden went so far as to say that social media platforms “kill people” by allowing content, but later returned to blame the disseminators of disinformation using platforms like Facebook. .

Social media companies have defended their handling of vaccine misinformation.

For example, Facebook has touted its COVID-19 clearinghouse as a way to fight disinformation. Facebook executive Andrew Bosworth, who is expected to become Meta’s chief technical officer, said earlier this month that the company was not responsible for mitigating the spread of disinformation on its platform.

“What more can you do if some people who are going to get this real information from a real source choose not to get it?” He said in an interview with “Axios on HBO”.

“It’s their choice. They are allowed to do it,” he added. “You have a problem with these people. You don’t have a problem with Facebook. You can’t blame me.”


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