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The Biden administration is playing an active role in flagging Facebook posts it considers to be “problematic” or “disinformation,” according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
During a Thursday press conference, Psaki said White House senior staff were engaging with “social media platforms” to combat the spread of “misinformation specifically on the pandemic.”
“In terms of actions we are taking or that we’re working to take, I should say, from the federal government, we’ve increased disinformation research and tracking within the surgeon general’s office. We're flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation," she said.
Psaki added that the administration was also “working with doctors, medical professionals, and experts who are popular with their audiences” to get them “accurate information and boost trusted content.”
“We’re helping get trusted content out there,” she said. “We also created the COVID-19 community cord to get trusted information into the hands of local messengers.”
Psaki revealed that most of the anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms was originating from “12 people,” but she did not identify any people or pages.
"There's about 12 people that are producing 65%" of anti-vaccine information and they remain active on @Facebook, according to @Facebook, adding that the
social media company "needs to move quickly" to remove such posts. pic.twitter.com/0GaxRWwbgn
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) July 15, 2021
The press secretary’s comments came just moments after Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an advisory about health misinformation or misinformation regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
Murthy described “false, misleading, or inaccurate information” as “one of the biggest obstacles that’s preventing us from ending this pandemic.”
“Misinformation has also led to harassment of and violence against public health workers, health professionals, airline staff, and other frontline workers tasked with communicating evolving public health measures,” the surgeon general wrote in the advisory.
“I am urging all Americans to help slow the spread of health misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” Murthy continued. “Health misinformation is a serious threat to public health. It can cause confusion, sow mistrust, harm people’s health, and undermine public health efforts. Limiting the spread of health misinformation is a moral and civic imperative that will require a whole-of-society effort.”
Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, were subsequently encouraged in the advisory to redesign algorithms, increase the staff they have monitoring potentially false content, and share information about what users are accessing to researchers.
As for everyday people, the advisory encourages them to learn how to identify and avoid sharing incorrect health information, address health misinformation in their community, and engage with their friends and family on the problem of health misinformation.
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Original Author: Lawrence Richard
Original Location: Biden administration ‘flagging problematic posts for Facebook,’ Psaki says