As Covid-19 vaccine-related misinformation continues to spread on Facebook, one of the platform’s former executives is calling for the company to focus on transparency.
President Joe Biden recently said platforms like Facebook are “killing people” with vaccine misinformation. And Brian Boland, the former vice president of partnership strategy at Facebook, said the company “absolutely” has data on where and how the troublesome content is spreading, but hasn’t shown “a focus or a desire to be more transparent.”
“The willingness seems to be more about let’s avoid the story or let’s control the narrative, rather than do the hard thing,” Boland said chief media correspondent Brian Stelter on “Reliable Sources” Sunday. After more than 11 years working at Facebook, “It’s one of the main reasons that I quit,” he said.
The White House is focusing on turning up the heat on the so-called Covid “disinformation dozen” who are using social media to spread false or misleading claims about the vaccines.
“There’s about 12 people who are producing 65% of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday. That statistic comes from the nonprofit Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) which identified in a report published in March about a dozen users it said were super-spreaders of anti-vaccine misinformation.
A Facebook spokesperson said the company had shut down some pages and groups belonging to the dozen or so people identified by the CCDH, but it would not specify which pages had been removed.