Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat, has written to Amazon and Facebook, requesting more information on their efforts to combat the spread of “misinformation” on their platforms. The Democratic party has intensified its criticism of online platforms for their failure to address what they say is misinformation, which they blame for the stalling of the vaccination program.
“Despite some concrete and positive steps previously taken, these companies owe both the public and the Congress additional answers about the exponential and dangerous proliferation of misinformation,” said Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, in a statement.
In recent weeks more Democrats, including White House officials, have spoken out against online platforms for their failure to address health misinformation, blamed for the increased vaccine hesitancy in the country. Biden singled out Facebook, saying the company was killing people for allowing the spread of vaccine-skeptic content.
In a statement to Reuters, Facebook said that, since the beginning of the pandemic, it had “removed over 20 million pieces of COVID misinformation, labeled more than 190 million pieces of COVID content rated by our fact-checking partners, and connected over 2 billion people with reliable information through tools like our COVID information center.”
It added it had “removed over 3,000 accounts, pages, and groups for repeatedly violating our COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation policies and will continue to enforce our policies and offer tools and reminders for people who use our platform to get vaccinated.”
A spokesperson for Amazon said that it has been “constantly evaluating the books we list to ensure they comply with our content guidelines, and as an additional service to customers, at the top of relevant search results pages we link to the CDC advice on COVID and protection measures.”