- Facebook’s internal memo revealed that rampant vaccine misinformation had hurt CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s goat of getting 50 million vaccinations via the platform
- Earlier this year, Zuckerberg launched Facebook’s COVID Information Center to help people easily book vaccination appointments
- However, Facebook researchers warned Zuckerberg that his social media company is home to millions of daily anti-vaxxer comments.
- They found that widespread misinformation filled any post promoting the vaccine, creating a ‘cesspool of anti-vaccine comments’.
Facebook employees warned CEO Mark Zuckerberg that their social media platform had compromised their goal of using the company to vaccinate 50 million people against COVID-19.
Zuckerberg announced the initiative in March, showing Facebook’s ability to help users connect with vaccine providers, as well as bringing the service to its Instagram and WhatsApp subsidiaries.
‘It will be in the Kovid Information Center, which we will show people right in their news feed. We have already seen that people use Facebook to find appointments for vaccinations, so this should enable millions more to do the same,’ Zuckerberg wrote.
But for months, Facebook research warned that comments on vaccine-related posts that the platform was promoting were filled with antivaccine rhetoric aimed at diluting the message and undermining any belief in vaccines, wall street journal informed of.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, pictured in 2019, wanted his social media company to help 50 million people get vaccinated. Internal memos from company researchers found Facebook hindered targets more than it helped
Zuckerberg said he wants Facebook and its subsidiaries to help get millions of people vaccinated
Facebook posts against the vaccination effort were posted extensively online with at least 310 million comments every day
Internal documents obtained by the Journal show that the World Health Organization and UNICEF, which helped spearhead the global vaccination effort, reached out to Facebook about the flood of negative comments on his posts.
One Facebook employee wrote in a memo, ‘Anti-vaccine commenters who swarm their pages.
Another memo raised the alarm that about 41 percent of comments on vaccine-related posts written in English were discouraging vaccinations.
This means that out of 775 million comments daily on vaccine-related posts, about 310 million were turning people away from vaccines.
The millions of comments ranged from personal objections all the way to conspiracy theories.
The research dubbed the comments a ‘barrier to vaccination’ content and lamented how people are using Facebook’s own tools to sow doubts about the threat and slowing down of the pandemic ‘a top company priority’. Were were
Even official sources of vaccine information were becoming a ‘cesspool of anti-vaccine comments,’ the Facebook researchers wrote. ‘This is a huge problem and we need to fix it.’
Facebook’s subsidiary Instagram. I also noticed the problem of anti-vaccine post
Strong anti-vaccine and COVID-19 misinformation continues in the US. Pictured, an anti-protest protest in Santa Monica, California on August 29
Protesters continue to claim vaccines are not necessary, some call COVID a hoax
In a statement, Facebook spokesman Aaron Simpson defended Facebook’s work in promoting the vaccine and said the memo was not enough evidence to say the company had failed in its mission.
‘We’re focused on the results, and the data shows that for people in the US on Facebook, there has been a nearly 50% drop in vaccine hesitation since January, and acceptance is high.
Documents show Facebook’s ‘regular process’ for tackling tough challenges.
‘Shortly portraying the leaked documents doesn’t accurately represent the problem, and it also ignores the work it takes to comment on posts about COVID-19 and making vaccines safer and more reliable’ Its going on.’
The massive misinformation campaign on Facebook was exposed as the US reported more than 207,000 new COVID cases on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The US also reported more than 2,600 new COVID deaths as the delta version rallies after what appeared to be a slow pace in early September.
About 74 percent of all eligible Americans have received at least one jab of the vaccine by now.
More than 41.7 million Americans have been infected with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic
More than 672,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic
This new development comes after leaked documents obtained by the Journal also revealed that researchers were also concerned about the impact of Instagram on teenage girls.
The documents highlighted the fact that Facebook has known for two years that Instagram is toxic to young girls, but continues to add beauty-editing filters to the app, despite 6 percent of U.S. suicide girls doing it themselves. convicted of wanting to kill. .
When Facebook’s research first alerted the company to the issue in 2019, they said: ‘We find body image issues worse for one in three teenage girls.’
This is some research that Facebook did last March showing how Instagram is harming youth
Teens blame Instagram for increasing rates of anxiety and depression. This response was disjointed and consistent across all groups.’
A message posted on an internal message board in March 2020 said the app revealed that 32 percent of girls said Instagram made them feel bad about their bodies if they were already insecure.
Parents and politicians reacted angrily to the data, calling it ‘sick’ that Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg know how harmful Instagram is but have done nothing about it.
‘It’s frightening. I will seek answers from Mark Zuckerberg,’ tweeted Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts.
The slides also showed how young users were moving away from Facebook to Instagram.
Forty percent of Instagram’s 1 billion monthly users are under the age of 22 and only over half are women.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg has in the past been silent about the issues the app is blamed for having among young girls.
He told Congress in March 2021 that Instagram has ‘positive mental-health benefits’.
Instagram has a ‘Parental Guide’ that teaches parents how to monitor their kids’ accounts by enabling features like screen time limits and who can comment on posts, but before joining the site. There is no way to verify age.
Instagram claims it only accepts users 13 and older, but says many people lie about it when they join.
Instagram does not flag any photo or image that has been distorted or manipulated, regardless of the flagging content that includes misinformation, political posts or paid advertising.
The group of teens who said they were negatively affected by the app were 13 and older.
Zuckerberg even announced plans to launch a product for children under the age of 13.
He told Congress that it would be safe, when asked whether it would be safe to study its effects.
Facebook has not shared the research before.
In August, when asked for information about harm to young girls from her products, she responded in a letter to senators: ‘We are not aware of the study or the consensus among experts as to how much screen time is “too much”. is more.
Senator Richard Blumenthal told the Journal that Facebook’s answers were vague which raised questions that it was deliberately concealing the research.
‘Facebook’s answers were so vague – failing to answer all of our questions – that they really raised the question of what Facebook might be hiding.
‘Looks like Facebook is taking a page out of Big Tobacco’s textbook – publicly targeting teens with potentially dangerous products while masquerading as science.’
In the letter, the company also said that it kept the research “confidential to promote open and open dialogue and brainstorm internally”.
Data was shown on Facebook showing how Instagram harmed young girls and boys
Have you ever had a question about any of the things you’ve realized last month? Select all that apply
not enough money
don’t have enough friends
down, sad or sad
wanted to kill myself
wanted to hurt myself
Q: In general, how has Instagram affected how you feel about yourself, about your mental health?
US boys and girls: 3%
American boys: 2%
American Girls: 3%
UK total: 2%
UK boys: 1%
UK girls: 2%
US total: 16%
US Boys 12%
American Girls: 18%
UK total: 19%
UK boys: 13%
UK girls: 23%
US total: 41%
American boys: 37%
American Girls: 43%
UK total: 46%
UK boys: 50%
UK girls: 44%
US total: 29%
American boys: 32%
American Girls: 29%
UK total: 28%
UK boys: 31%
UK girls: 26%
US total: 12%
American boys: 18%
American Girls 8%
UK total: 5%
UK boys: 5%
UK girls: 4%