“All my research is about what social media platforms can do to make things better,” said David Lander, a professor at MIT, one of the authors of the study that tested the impact of Trump’s praise of vaccines. . “But I think TV and radio, especially conservative TV and radio, are now basically free, even though they have caused amazing damage.”
The Biden administration’s criticism of Facebook is a win-win for Fox News. Not only did it divert attention away from the network’s own responsibility for the vaccination gap, it also contributed to a powerful right-wing narrative about the collusion of the government and large technology companies with conservative silence. “I just think this coordination between big government and big monopoly, boy, it’s terrible. This is really censorship,” Missouri Senator Josh Hawley Say Thursday-where else? –Fox News. Throughout the weekend, this kind of anger can easily persist in the conservative media. Experts and Republican lawmakers are weighing, as Ted Cruz said, “They are willing to trample on freedom of speech, trample on the Constitution, and use government power to shut you up. We worry about everything they will do.”
It’s easy to understand why the White House would spend political capital to criticize Facebook instead of Fox News: Facebook might really listen. Biden has no influence on the right-wing media. When the Fox News host questioned the safety or wisdom of vaccination, it was not a law enforcement error; this was tonight’s show. In contrast, many people at Facebook would rather not be responsible for destroying the public health information environment in the United States.
According to Facebook, they are not.in a Blog post Last week, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, Guy Rosen, believed that Facebook has always been a force for good when it comes to vaccination. He pointed out that since the beginning of the pandemic, “more than 2 billion people have viewed authoritative information on Covid-19 and vaccines on Facebook” and the company has “removed more than 18 million Covid-19 misinformation.” Moreover, He claims that Facebook has complied with all eight recommendations of surgeons-including Murthy’s recommendation that the company “allows researchers to access useful data to properly analyze the spread and impact of misinformation.”
In fact, it is well known that Facebook does not provide access to the data needed to understand what is happening on its platform. For example, please note that Rosen’s blog post does not mention the number of times users have seen unreliable information about Covid or vaccines. Facebook released statistics on post engagement – likes, shares, etc. – but Refuse to disclose Data about “reach”, that is, how many people saw a piece of content. It also did not provide any specific details about its efforts to reduce the spread of misinformation.
MIT professor Rand said: “The public doesn’t know what Facebook is doing or not doing to combat vaccine misinformation, nor how serious or good the problem is.” “Many smart people have done a lot within the company. Work, trying to reduce the impact of misinformation, but they didn’t really talk about it.”
Rand said that platforms like Facebook should collaborate with external researchers to conduct empirical studies to understand which measures are effective in combating vaccine misinformation and which are ineffective — and publish the results. He pointed out that Facebook has enough data to measure how vaccine exposure posts affect real-world behavior. “They are conducting randomized controlled trials of vaccine misinformation every day, they just don’t think so,” he said.
Ironically, by providing some In-depth understanding of how it solves this problem, Facebook seems to have fallen into the worst balance between transparency and confidentiality. YouTube provides relatively little information for researchers, which helps them Flying under political and regulatory radar Although it is very important. At the same time, Facebook used CrowdTangle to provide researchers and reporters with enough data to crack down on the company-but then concealed evidence that it claimed could prove its correctness.