Selena Gomez Slams Facebook For Allowing Spread of Coronavirus Misinformation

Corinne Heller
·3 min read

Selena Gomez's war against Facebook rages on.

On Tuesday, Dec. 29, the 28-year-old pop star slammed the company for allegedly allowing false claims about the coronavirus vaccines to spread on social media.

Linking to a video of the CEO of the nonprofit group the Center for Countering Digital Hate, Gomez tweeted, "Scientific disinformation has and will cost lives. @Facebook said they don't allow lies about COVID and vaccines to be spread on their platforms. So how come all of this is still happening? Facebook is going to be responsible for thousands of deaths if they don't take action now!"

UPDATE: Facebook responded in a statement to E! News. "We are committed to reaching as many people as possible with accurate information about vaccines, and launched partnerships with WHO and UNICEF to do just that," the company said. "We've banned ads that discourage people from getting vaccines and reduced the number of people who see vaccine hoaxes verified by the WHO and the CDC."

"We also label Pages and Groups that repeatedly share vaccine hoaxes, lower their posts in News Feed, and do not recommend them to anyone," the group continued. "We continue to remove accounts and content that violate our policies and are the only company to work with over 80 fact-checking organizations around the world."

Earlier this month, Facebook announced on its blog that it was "combating COVID-19 misinformation across our apps." The company also said it "will start removing false claims about these vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts on Facebook and Instagram," adding, "This is another way that we are applying our policy to remove misinformation about the virus that could lead to imminent physical harm."

Selena Gomez's Most Candid Quotes

This is not the first time Gomez has criticized Facebook publicly. Earlier this month, she retweeted another post by the CCDH, which claimed Facebook allowed a group to sell "racist products" on its platforms. Gomez responded, "I'm speechless. @Facebook @Instagram how are you tolerating this hate? There's still accounts there even though you have been notified!!"

Selena Gomez, Celebrity voters, Instagram
Selena Gomez, Celebrity voters, Instagram

In response, Facebook said in a statement to E! News, "We have removed the content which violates our policies prohibiting dangerous organizations. We regularly work to improve our technology to find and remove this content faster and, while there is more work to do, we are making progress."

"We've banned over 250 white supremacist organizations from Facebook and Instagram, and remove content that praises, supports or represents these groups whenever we find it," the company continued. "Between July and September, we removed four million pieces of content tied to organized hate from Facebook, over 97% of which we found before it was reported."

In September, Gomez took to her Instagram Story to share a DM she had sent to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg. "Facebook and Instagram are being used to spread hate, misinformation, racism, and bigotry," her message read. "I am calling you both to HELP STOP THIS. Please shut down groups and users focused on spreading hate speech violence and misinformation. Our future depends on it."

"We cannot afford to have misinformation about voting," added the singer, who serves as a co-chair of the nonprofit When We All Vote. "There has to be fact-checking and accountability. Hope to hear back from you ASAP."

—Reporting by Beth Sobol

(This story was originally published on Wednesday, Dec. 30 at 8:14 a.m. PST)