White Home Dispute Exposes Fb Blind Spot on Misinformation

“The suggestion that we did not allocate resources to combat Covid misinformation and aid vaccine roll-out is simply not supported by the facts,” said Dani Lever, a Facebook spokeswoman. “With no standard definition of vaccine misinformation and with both false and true content (often shared by mainstream media) that may discourage vaccine adoption, we focus on the results – we measure whether people using Facebook have Covid Accept -19 vaccines. ”

Facebook executives, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg, have said the company has pledged to remove Covid-19 misinformation since the beginning of the pandemic. The company said it has removed over 18 million Covid-19 misinformation since the pandemic began.

Experts investigating disinformation said the number of parts removed from Facebook wasn’t as revealing, how many were uploaded to the site, or what groups and pages people saw misinformation spreading.

“You have to open the black box that represents your content ranking and content amplification architecture. Take that black box and open it for review by independent researchers and the government, ”said Imran Ahmed, executive director of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a nonprofit dedicated to combating disinformation. “We don’t know how many Americans have been infected with misinformation.”

Ahmed’s group, using publicly available data from CrowdTangle, a program owned by Facebook, found that 12 people were responsible for 65 percent of the Covid-19 misinformation on Facebook. The White House, including Mr Biden, repeated that number over the past week. Facebook says it disagrees with the characterization of the “dozen of disinformation,” adding that some of their pages and accounts have been removed while others stop posting content that violates Facebook rules.

Renée DiResta, a disinformation researcher at Stanford Internet Observatory, urged Facebook to post more detailed data that would allow experts to understand how false claims about the vaccine affect certain communities in the country. The information known as “prevalence data” essentially examines how widespread a narrative is, e.g. B. What percentage of the people in a community see them on duty.

“The reason more detailed prevalence data is needed is because false claims are not spread equally among all audiences,” said Ms. DiResta. “To effectively counter certain false claims that communities see, civil society organizations and researchers need a better understanding of what is happening in these groups.”

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