Senators try to hold Facebook and YouTube accountable for disinformation about health

Senators try to hold Facebook and YouTube accountable for disinformation about health

Facebook and more social media companies could see their Section 230 protections compromised if they don’t fight health disinformation.

Angela Lang / CNET

Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico introduced the legislation on Thursday that seems to hold up social media companies like Responsible Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for the diffusion of disinformation relating to health health on their platforms during public health emergencies. This includes inaccurate statements about Vaccines against covid-19, as well as others false health claims.

The health disinformation law tries to create an exception for Section 230, a provision in the law on decency of communications that offers legal protections a social media companies, protecting them from liability for content users post. The bill would eliminate tale responsibility shield for platforms whose algorithms promote health related disinformation aa current public health emergency, as determined by the Secretary of Health and human services.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube did little while spreading disinformation related to COVID-19-19 on their platforms – fueling distrust in public health officials, promoting conspiracy theories and putting lives at risk risk, “said Senator Luján in a declaration. “Like COVID-19-19 cases rise among the unvaccinated, even the amount of misinformation on vaccines on social media. I’m in game of lives “.

Sen. Klobuchar added: “Before this year, I called on Facebook and Twitter to remove the accounts that are responsible for producing the majority of disinformation about the coronavirus, but us need long term solution. This legislation will hold online responsible platforms for the spread of disinformation in health matter. The coronavirus pandemic has proven us how Lethal disinformation can be and is our responsibility to act. “

Twitter declined for comment. Facebook and Google, the owner of YouTube, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This is not the first time that the senators have solicited social media giants Push back against health disinformation. In April, Sens. Klobuchar and Luján sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey following a report that found about 65 percent of anti-vaccine content on those platforms could be traced back to 12 people. The senators called on Zuckerberg and Dorsey to remove users from their platforms; Twitter took action against six users and permanently suspended one account, while Facebook took action against different users. IS in January, Sen. Klobuchar, together with Democratic Senators Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Gary Peters of Michigan, sent a letter to Dorsey, Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, urging them to fight the spread of Misinformation on the COVID-19 vaccine.

In March, 12 state lawyers general also called on Facebook and Twitter to do more for fight vaccine misinformation At the time, Facebook said it did more of 35,000 people taking down disinformation on the platform. Twitter said yes removed more of 22,400 tweets based on his policy on misleading information surrounding COVID-19.

IS on On Monday, President Joe Biden declared disinformation about vaccines on platforms like Facebook is “killing people, “and I pressed the key social network to do more for combat it. In response, Facebook said it was taken down more of 18 million pieces of Misinformation on COVID-19.

To see also: COVID-19 vaccine details: new variants, when you can get vaccinated, hidden commissions

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