Politics Democrats Can’t Make Facebook Help Win the Covid Information War

11:09  20 july  2021
11:09  20 july  2021 Source:   bloomberg.com

The FTC's plan to break up Facebook will only worsen free speech concerns

  The FTC's plan to break up Facebook will only worsen free speech concerns Several small companies will likely do a worse job with content moderation than will one big one. But doesn't one big company also have pressures to allow only conforming, middle-of-the-road posts and discussions? No. If the one, big company is advertiser-supported and has many "channels," it has incentives to provide something for everyone. That is Facebook. They have incentives to provide opportunities for everyone, left, right and center, to participate on Facebook, regardless of Mark Zuckerberg's personal politics.

Facebook has decided that any news outlet or page that shares this “controversial” JAMA study will see its “overall distribution reduced” on the platform, or “be restricted in other ways.” Referring to the study as “false news,” Facebook says the only acceptable form of “science” that can be shared on the The Poynter Institute was handed a .3 million grant from a handful of grant- making organizations that were founded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, as well as far-left billionaire George Soros. “Remember to get your jab because the vaccine will protect you from all covid variants,” one of our commenters

Facebook is supporting the global public health community’s work to keep people safe and informed during the coronavirus public health crisis. We’re also working to address the long-term impacts by supporting industries in need and making it easier for people to find and offer help in their communities. In response to the ongoing impact of the COVID -19 pandemic – particularly the challenges facing minority and women-owned businesses – we recently launched The Facebook Receivables Financing Program to support US-based suppliers.

(Bloomberg) -- Defeating Covid-19 in the U.S. is now mired in a partisan information war, a fight that President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress are ill-equipped to win.

a person standing in front of a building: New York MTA Sets First-Ever Sale For Payroll Mobility Bonds © Bloomberg New York MTA Sets First-Ever Sale For Payroll Mobility Bonds

Biden’s struggle to control the coronavirus and vaccine misinformation online was evident in his broadside Friday that companies like Facebook Inc. were “killing people.” He begged social media platforms to change and pleaded with the American people not to believe everything they read.

Alphabet Inc.’s Google said Monday its YouTube video service will start labeling health videos with information on how authoritative the source is and Twitter Inc. says it’s working with public health authorities and will “continue to take enforcement action on content that violates our Covid-19 misleading information policy.”

Texas Democrats launch a war they probably cannot win

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That’s not going to help convince the 14 or so people who were still sitting on the fence about getting vaccinated to finally get the shot. Rick wrote Sunday about the roots of COVID -vaccine skepticism. Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, and Andrew Cuomo were all Team Biden and Anthony Fauci keep accusing Republicans of making this a political issue. In reality, they’re the ones who are doing that. I know maybe six people who have opted not to get the vaccine, but most of the conservatives I know have been vaccinated. This is only a political issue because Democrats and the leftmedia can ’ t

Facebook and other social-media companies are joining with health agencies to combat fraud and elevate accurate information about the coronavirus. Several of the world's largest social-media companies have announced they're working together to fight misinformation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and the COVID -19 disease, according to a joint statement published to Facebook 's website on Monday. Facebook , Google and its subsidiary YouTube, Microsoft and its subsidiary LinkedIn, Reddit, and Twitter all cosigned the statement.

But Facebook went on the counterattack -- accusing the White House of “finger-pointing” for failing to meet its vaccination target -- indicating that the company is already doing everything it’s willing to do.

Biden’s comments came after months of meetings with social media companies to address misinformation on their platforms, according to an administration official. Discussions with Facebook grew increasingly unproductive in recent months and the administration was unsatisfied with the company’s responses to requests for more details about its response to inaccuracies and unscientific speculation, the official said. Still, there wasn’t much the White House could do but complain.

a person standing in front of a building: New York MTA Sets First-Ever Sale For Payroll Mobility Bonds © Bloomberg New York MTA Sets First-Ever Sale For Payroll Mobility Bonds

Biden walked back his earlier comments slightly on Monday, saying online misinformation is the culprit, not the companies themselves. When asked whether he would hold social media companies accountable, he said he’s “trying to make people look at themselves, look in the mirror” and imagine those falsehoods going to people they care about and act accordingly.

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  On The Money: Democrats reach deal on $3.5T target | Biden rallies Democrats: 'We're going to get this done' Happy Wednesday and welcome back to On The Money, where we're probably going to be avoiding flights for a while. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.See something I missed? Let me know at slane@thehill.com or tweet me @SylvanLane. And if you like your newsletter, you can subscribe to it here: http://bit.ly/1NxxW2N.Write us with tips, suggestions and news: slane@thehill.com and njagoda@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane and @NJagoda.

Facebook will no longer remove posts on its platform asserting COVID -19 was man- made , a new report said, as President Biden on Wednesday ordered US intelligence agencies to investigate if the virus came from a Chinese lab. “In light of ongoing investigations into the origin of COVID -19 and in Facebook in February had banned posts claiming that “ COVID -19 is man- made or manufactured. The site’s fact-checkers slapped a “False Information ” notification over shares of a Feb. 23 Post op-ed by Steven Mosher, which said that the US couldn’ t trust China’s story about the origins of COVID -19 and

Watching the many stumbles of both President Donald Trump and Democrat challenger Joe Biden on the campaign trail, one can ’ t help but wonder if either really wants to win . Whoever wins the 2020 election will be immediately confronted with a full plate of thorny political issues, from impossible national debt to unwinnable (and apparently unendable) foreign wars to artificially-amplified racial strife to metastasizing income inequality to a pandemic that seems determined to put the last nail in the coffin of the US Empire.

Earlier: Biden Tempers Jab at Facebook, Calls Vaccine Falsehoods Harmful

Imran Ahmed, head of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, said that Biden’s plea reflects his frustration with the spread of vaccine inaccuracies online -- and his powerlessness to fix it.

“It’s not just a morally devastating line from the president, it’s also a sign of the weakness that government has when it comes to dealing with the platforms,” Ahmed said in a telephone interview. “We’re seeing the limitations of the tools that government has right now.”

The Biden administration fell short of its goal for at least 70% of eligible Americans to receive one shot by July 4. Now 72.3% of the adult population, or 186 million Americans, has received at least one dose, while at least 161 million people have completed the vaccination regime. The vaccine rollout, however, has stalled, and now the gap between the most and least vaccinated counties in the U.S. has widened, leaving many communities vulnerable to continued outbreaks.

Opinion | The Secret to Defeating Covid Misinformation the White House Needs to Learn

  Opinion | The Secret to Defeating Covid Misinformation the White House Needs to Learn Hammering Tucker Carlson and other lie spreaders won’t keep people from sharing their conspiracies. Direct appeals to the public might.Abandoning its previous, more passive strategy, the administration has wrapped its critics in a clinch and commenced counterpunching. White House press secretary Jen Psaki lectured Facebook this week for allowing false claims about Covid and vaccines to run wild on the service and announced that the White House it was “flagging problematic posts” for the company’s attention.

How can I make sure I don’t lose access to my Facebook account? this happened to my friend. he forgot the fb password. then he can ' t access to the email because forgot password too hahahah also he can ' t recover password through hand phone because the number no longer in used. help help help if u guys know how to resolve this issue.

To make matters even worse, no person can sue the vaccine manufacturers for this hidden agenda, because Congress enacted legislation to protect them all, including Pfizer and Moderna. Side effects of the Covid vaccines and the morning after pill both include nausea, headaches, vomiting and tiredness. Whether you choose to have an abortion by medical procedure, pill or vaccine is your choice, and depends on your personal preference and situation. With vaccine abortion, some people like that you don’ t have to visit the doctor’s office or hospital at all.

A report from Ahmed’s organization, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting harmful content online, identified 12 users who generate 65% of the misleading posts about the coronavirus pandemic and vaccines.

A big part of the problem is political. Republicans in Congress have excoriated social media companies for limiting the voices of some right-wing users who have violated company policies. GOP lawmakers like Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn warn that any collaboration between Facebook and a Democratic administration to police information online is akin to censorship by authoritarian regimes.

That report has also fueled anger from Democrats who are frustrated that platforms haven’t taken swifter action against those who drive the bulk of false content that’s prolonged the pandemic in parts of the U.S. where vaccination hesitancy is high.

Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that there’s “absolutely no reason they shouldn’t be able to monitor this better and take this crap off of their platforms.” Klobuchar, who chairs the Senate’s antitrust subcommittee, has repeatedly called for Facebook to be broken up, divesting of messenger service WhatsApp and photo-sharing platform Instagram, to force better company policies by giving consumers more choice.

Facebook Extends Pushback on Biden Criticism of Social Media

  Facebook Extends Pushback on Biden Criticism of Social Media Facebook Inc. expanded on its pushback to President Joe Biden’s comment that social media networks enabled the spread of misinformation about vaccines, saying that it won’t take the blame for the administration missing its target to get 70% of Americans inoculated by July 4. © Bloomberg Facebook Bans Political Ads After End Of Voting On Election Day Biden said Friday that social media networks are “killing people” by allowing the spread of misinformation about coronavirus vaccines, saying that “the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated” after he was asked about his message for tech companies.

Facebook countered Biden’s criticism in a July 17 blogpost from Vice President of Integrity Guy Rosen, saying that vaccine acceptance among U.S. Facebook users has actually increased. The post described the company’s efforts to present “authoritative information” about Covid-19, help connect people to vaccines, remove “18 million instances of Covid-19 misinformation” and participate in a data collection effort with Carnegie Mellon University.

Robin Mejia, a Carnegie Mellon statistician who works on the project with Facebook, said the coronavirus survey routinely gets 40,000 responses a day -- a valuable trove of information that paints a picture of vaccination acceptance and the virus’s spread in real time. Mejia described the project in an interview as an example of the ability of social media to provide a useful tool for policymakers.

For more: More Than 3.64 Billion Shots Given: Covid-19 Tracker

There are several bills languishing in Congress that would change legal protections for content that’s posted and shared on social media platforms, but the proposals lack momentum amid a legislative agenda focused on infrastructure and yearly spending bills. Even if measures to change the legal liability shield known as Section 230 were to pass, it’s not clear that they would address the misinformation problem.

Facebook pushes back against Biden remarks on COVID-19 misinformation

  Facebook pushes back against Biden remarks on COVID-19 misinformation The president said Friday that platforms like Facebook were “killing people”“At a time when COVID-19 cases are rising in America, the Biden administration has chosen to blame a handful of American social media companies,” Rosen wrote. “While social media plays an important role in society, it is clear that we need a whole of society approach to end this pandemic. And facts — not allegations — should help inform that effort.

Klobuchar, along with Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, has introduced a measure to reform Section 230, although the proposal focuses more on content that enables cyber-stalking and harassment, rather than misinformation. Other Section 230 bills include a proposal from Senator Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, to hold platforms accountable for the way they share and spread content. Another from Representative Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat, would require social media companies to create consumer protection programs and allow individuals to sue if the companies violate those policies or terms of service.

There are limits to what the government, including Congress, can do about online content. Eric Goldman, a professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, said Covid-19 misinformation falls into the “lawful but awful” category of speech that’s protected by the first amendment.

“Vaccine misinformation is often constitutionally protected material,” Goldman said. “People get scientific facts wrong all the time.”

Even if Congress pares back Section 230, making companies legally responsible for more user content, it would be hard for claimants to prove the social media firms are liable for the consequences of the vaccine inaccuracies.

Mary Anne Franks, a professor at the University of Miami School of Law, said Congress could pass a law banning the spread of Covid-19 misinformation. While the First Amendment protects many kinds of speech, a law could override technology companies’ Section 230 defense, clearing the way for more legal cases over Covid-19 misinformation on social media. Such a law could survive a First Amendment challenge, she said.

Research: India's deaths during pandemic 10X official toll

  Research: India's deaths during pandemic 10X official toll NEW DELHI (AP) — India's excess deaths during the pandemic could be a staggering 10 times the official COVID-19 toll, likely making it modern India’s worst human tragedy, according to the most comprehensive research yet on the ravages of the virus in the south Asian country. Most experts believe India's official toll of more than 414,000 dead is a vast undercount, but the government has dismissed those concerns as exaggerated and misleading. TheMost experts believe India's official toll of more than 414,000 dead is a vast undercount, but the government has dismissed those concerns as exaggerated and misleading.

“If we had someone wanting to sell their baked goods and they’re claiming that there’s no peanuts, when in fact it has peanuts -- we don’t let them do that either,” Franks said. “You can’t lie in such a way that is going to cause measurable harm to other people.”

Nevertheless, complaints about what conservatives describe as censorship dominated the GOP response to Biden’s Friday comments.

Blackburn sent a letter to Biden Monday saying his administration’s efforts to “work with big tech companies to censor Americans’ free speech are shocking.” Other Republicans had a similar reaction, including Washington State Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, who warned against the Biden administration’s “abuse of power.”

Republican opposition presents a political risk for companies like Facebook, who faced frequent criticism from former President Donald Trump and his followers for taking action against right-wing users -- including Trump himself -- who violate company policies. Democrats currently hold the House and Senate by very thin margins, and Republicans are well-positioned to take the House majority in next year’s midterm elections.

The top tech platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Google, have faced repeated questions from lawmakers and the chief executive officers of all three were called to testify before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on misinformation in March. Frank Pallone, the chairman of that committee, and several Democratic senators have written to Facebook requesting more detail about bad vaccine information.

So far, the political frustration with Facebook hasn’t had financial consequences for the company, which became the fastest firm to reach a $1 trillion market value, just 17 years after its founding and nine years after it went public.

For more: Facebook Reaps $1 Trillion Reward for Grow-At-Any-Cost Culture

“Frankly social media companies benefit from traffic to their websites, regardless of what drives it,” Ahmed said. “In a broken attention market in which there are no consequences for monitoring malignant misinformation, who’s going to stop them?”

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Team Biden Somehow Failed to Hire Someone to Fight Vaxx Disinfo .
As early as last autumn, public health experts and political leaders were sounding the alarm that conspiracist campaigns posed a dire threat to a future nationwide vaccination program—a threat that necessitated the appointment of a “disinformation czar” to counter anti-vaccine messaging. The incoming Biden administration initially intended to heed those calls by placing a disinformation expert on the White House COVID-19 Response Team, according to multiple members of the transition team, but never followed through.

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