After President Joe Biden came out on Friday to attack social media companies for spreading Covid-19 misinformation on its website, Facebook criticized the White House for using its platform as a “scapegoat.”
A Facebook spokesperson said in an outspoken statement that the president and his administration ignored the number of people using Facebook’s vaccine search tool and were just looking for excuses to explain why they missed the July 4th target.
“We will not be distracted by allegations that are not supported by facts. The truth is that more than 2 billion people have viewed authoritative information on COVID-19 and vaccines on Facebook, which is more than anywhere else on the Internet,” wrote Facebook spokesperson.
“More than 3.3 million Americans also use our vaccine finder tool to find where and how to get a vaccine. The facts show that Facebook is helping to save lives. Period.”
Only two hours after the statement was sent to NBC News reporter Dylan Byers, another Facebook official wrote a more direct response to the president.
“In private exchanges, surgeons praised our work, including our efforts to introduce people to COVID-19. They know what they are doing. The White House is looking for a scapegoat because they failed to achieve the vaccine goal,” the official wrote , Byers said it shows how far Biden’s rhetoric has reached in terms of leadership.
Earlier on Friday morning, Biden accused Facebook and other social media companies of spreading misinformation, which he claimed was the reason for the decline in the number of vaccinated people.
“They are killing people,” Biden explained when asked to reiterate his comments.
When he left the White House, he said: “I mean, they really, see, our only epidemic is people who have not been vaccinated, and that is – they are killing people.”
The White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki made similar comments before being asked about the matter.
“We are here to deal with a matter of life and death, so everyone is responsible for ensuring that the information is accurate,” Psaki said. “They are a private company. They will decide on other steps that can be taken. Obviously, there are more steps that can be taken.”
The day before her comment, the White House flagged inappropriate posts on Facebook that spread misinformation.
She said: “We regularly make sure that social media platforms are aware of the latest statements that endanger public health that we and many other Americans see on all social media and traditional media.”
“We work hard to work with them to better understand the implementation of social media platform policies.”
When asked to give examples, Psaki pointed to the “disturbing but persistent narrative” of infertility caused by vaccines.
“This is inaccurate false information.”