Dani Lever, a Facebook spokesman, said: “The suggestion that we don’t devote resources to fighting Covid misinformation and supporting vaccine deployment is just not backed up by facts.” “There is no standard definition for vaccine misinformation, and with both false and even factual content (often shared by the mainstream media) there is the potential to discourage To encourage vaccine adoption, we focus on results – measuring whether Facebook users accept the Covid-19 vaccine. “
Executives at Facebook, including chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, say the company has been committed to eliminating misinformation about Covid-19 since the pandemic began. The company says it has removed more than 18 million pieces of misinformation about Covid-19 since the pandemic began.
Disinformation experts say the number of posts Facebook removes is not as informative as the number uploaded to the site or in groups and pages where people are seeing the spread of misinformation. deviation.
“They need to open the black box that is their content rating architecture and amplify their content. Imran Ahmed, executive director of the Center Against Digital Hate, a nonprofit that aims to fight misinformation, take that black box and open it up for independent researchers. established and inspected by the government. “We don’t know how many Americans have been infected by misinformation.”
Mr. Ahmed’s team, using public data from CrowdTangle, a program owned by Facebook, found that 12 people were responsible for 65% of Covid-19 misinformation on Facebook. The White House, including Mr. Biden, has repeated that number over the past week. Facebook said it disagreed with the characterization of “dozens of misinformation,” adding that some of its pages and accounts have been removed, while others are no longer posting content that violates Facebook’s rules. .
Renée DiResta, a disinformation researcher at Stanford’s Internet Observatory, has called on Facebook to release more detailed data that would allow experts to make sense of false claims about vaccines. how it affects specific communities in the country. The information, known as “popularity data,” essentially looks at how popular a story is, such as the percentage of people in the community on the service that see it.
“The reason more granular data on prevalence is needed is that false claims are not equally common in all populations,” said Ms. DiResta. “To effectively combat the specific false claims that communities are seeing, civil society organizations and researchers need to have a better sense of what is happening within those groups. “