Facebook has attempted to change the narrative about its reputation as a place where misinformation runs rampant among its users, but it’s finally had to admit that anti-vaccine and coronavirus misinformation has been some of the most popular pieces of content on the site in recent months.
The Washington Post reported Saturday that Facebook acknowledged as much after a week where it shared some information about what’s popular on the social media network. Earlier in the week, Facebook detailed some of the most shared and liked content on the site in the months of April and June of 2021, highlighting that instead of right-wing pundits that content was about Aaron Rodgers and online CBD. But that disclosure made skeptics wonder why the company wasn’t sharing information about other months.
And on Saturday, Facebook revealed details about what was popular during other months of the year: coronavirus misinformation.
Facebook said Saturday evening that an article raising concerns that the coronavirus vaccine could lead to death was the top performing link on its platform from January through March of this year, acknowledging the widespread reach of such material for the first time.
It also said another site that pushed covid-19 misinformation was also among the top 20 most visited pages on the platform.
All this comes weeks after president Joe Biden said that Facebook was “killing people” by spreading misinformation not properly moderated by Facebook. The article has full details about what Facebook revealed, but it’s another reminder that the site has amplified some of the worst parts of anti-vaccine skepticism that’s prolonged the pandemic and helped keep wide swaths of the population unvaccinated despite overwhelming evidence that it’s safe, effective and life-saving for millions of people.
[via Washington Post]