(Adds details on the Delta variant of the coronavirus)
By Jan Wolfe and David Shepardson
WASHINGTON, July 17 (Reuters) – Facebook defended on Saturday against US President Joe Biden’s claim that the social media platform is “killing people” by allowing misinformation about coronavirus vaccines to proliferate , claiming that the facts tell a different story.
“Data shows that 85% of Facebook users in the United States have been or wish to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” Facebook said in a corporate blog post by Guy Rosen, vice president of the company . “President Biden’s goal was for 70% of Americans to be vaccinated by July 4. Facebook is not the reason that goal was missed.”
COVID-19 disinformation spread during the pandemic through social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube owned by Alphabet Inc. Researchers and lawmakers have long accused Facebook of not controlling harmful content on its platforms.
âThey’re killing people.â¦ Look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. And they’re killing people,â Biden told reporters at the White House on Friday when asked about the misinformation and what was his message to social networks. media platforms such as Facebook.
The company has introduced rules against specific misrepresentation about COVID-19 and its vaccines, and says it is providing people with reliable information on these topics.
The Delta variant of the coronavirus is now the dominant strain worldwide, accompanied by a wave of deaths in the United States almost entirely among unvaccinated people, US officials said on Friday.
U.S. cases of COVID-19 https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/countries-and-territories/united-states are up 70% from the previous week and the deaths are up 26%, with outbreaks occurring in parts of the country where vaccination rates are low. (Reporting by Jan Wolfe and David Shepardson; editing by Daniel Wallis)