12 state attorneys general, headed by New York’s Letitia James, want Facebook and Twitter to do more to stop the spread of coronavirus vaccine skepticism. The AGs said that Facebook and Twitter are not enforcing their existing policies on vaccine misinformation.
We obtained a copy of the letter for you here.
In a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the coalition of state Attorneys General called on the social media platforms to fully enforce their vaccine misinformation policies immediately. James argued that vaccine skepticism is jeopardizing the coronavirus vaccination program and America’s road to recovery. James wants skepticism silenced.
“The science is clear — this vaccine saves lives, which is why I already received my vaccine and why I encourage all New Yorkers to get their vaccine when eligible,” James said. “As we continue to make strides in vaccinating New Yorkers and recovering from the pandemic, it is imperative that every individual has access to this lifesaving vaccine and the science-based facts about it. We must ensure that there are no barriers to individuals receiving their dose, especially those in communities most impacted by the pandemic, including communities of color. Facebook and Twitter must take immediate action to protect New Yorkers and limit any further loss of life as a result of the spread of inaccurate information.”
In the letter, the AGs said that both Facebook and Twitter have failed to fully enforce their existing policies on vaccine skepticism.
“Twitter and Facebook have yet to remove from all their platforms the accounts of prominent anti-vaxxers who have repeatedly violated the companies’ terms of service. Digital media research groups estimate that, as of March 10, 2021, 12 anti-vaxxers’ personal accounts and their associated organizations, groups, and websites are responsible for 65 percent of public anti-vaccine content on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter,” the letter stated.
The letter further singled out Facebook for failing to flag posts discussing COVID-19 vaccines, including posts on groups created by Larry Cook, a prominent vaccine skeptic.
“Facebook has failed to consistently apply misinformation labels and pop-ups on its pages and groups that discuss vaccines or COVID-19 generally. For example, the company neglected to apply warning labels on dozens of Facebook groups that anti-vaxxer Larry Cook created for his followers. At the same time, the company has mistakenly flagged pro-vaccine pages and content in ways that have undermined pro-vaccine public education efforts.”