Last week, President Biden lobbed a rhetorical grenade against social-media platforms, saying that sites such as Facebook are to blame for the millions of Americans who continue to refuse to get COVID-19 shots. “They’re killing people” by hosting COVID misinformation and allowing it to spread, Biden told reporters on Friday.
But on Monday, he took it back. “Facebook isn’t killing people, these 12 people are out there giving misinformation,” Biden said, referencing a report that found the bulk of vaccine misinfo on Facebook came from just a dozen individuals. “Anyone listening to it is getting hurt by it. It’s killing people. It’s bad information.”
Reacting to Biden and the report, a Facebook spokeswoman told the Washington Post on Monday: “We permanently ban Pages, Groups, and accounts that repeatedly break our rules on COVID misinformation, and this includes more than a dozen Pages, Groups, and accounts from some of the individuals referenced in the press briefing.”
Still, the social-networking giant isn’t necessarily off the hook: Biden added that he hopes Facebook will do more to fight “the outrageous misinformation” about COVID-19 vaccines being spread on the social network.