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Fourteen U.S. attorneys general press Facebook on vaccine disinformation

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WASHINGTON, Oct 14 (Reuters) – The attorneys general of 14 U.S. states despatched a letter to Facebook Inc (FB.O) Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg asking if the highest disseminators of vaccine disinformation on the platform acquired particular therapy from the corporate.

The line of inquiry was generated after Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen used inside paperwork to reveal that the social media platform has constructed a system that exempts high-profile customers from some or all of its guidelines. learn extra

In the letter, which was despatched on Wednesday, the 14 Democratic attorneys general stated they’re “extremely concerned” with latest reviews that Facebook maintained lists of members who’ve acquired particular therapy, and need to know if the “Disinformation Dozen” had been a part of these lists.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate describes the “Disinformation Dozen” as 12 anti-vaxxers who’re liable for nearly two-thirds of anti-vaccine content material circulating on social media platforms.

Facebook didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. It has beforehand stated the corporate has launched guidelines towards making particular false claims about COVID-19 and vaccines for it, and says it supplies folks dependable data on these subjects.

COVID-19 disinformation has proliferated in the course of the pandemic on social media websites together with Facebook, Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) and Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) YouTube. Researchers and lawmakers have lengthy accused Facebook of failing to police dangerous content material on its platforms.

In July, President Joe Biden stated social media platforms like Facebook “are killing people” for permitting misinformation about coronavirus vaccines to be posted on its platform. https://reut.rs/3iZ9ZVC

Haugen, a former product supervisor on Facebook’s civic misinformation crew, left the practically $1 trillion firm with tens of 1000’s of confidential paperwork and has referred to as for transparency about how Facebook entices customers to maintain scrolling, creating ample alternative for advertisers to succeed in them.

The letter was despatched by the attorneys general of Connecticut, California, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.

Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Peter Cooney

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