Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) announced that it took action against the “disinformation dozen,” a month after the White House identified twelve people allegedly responsible for most of the coronavirus misinformation.
Facebook deletes accounts of “disinformation dozen”
The company’s VP of content policy Monika Bickert argued that it was wrong to assume that the twelve accounts were the main ones responsible for spreading COVID-19 misinformation. She said that focusing on only these accounts is missing the forest for the trees.
She said, “Any amount of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation that violates our policies is too much by our standards — and we have removed over three dozen Pages, groups and Facebook or Instagram accounts linked to these 12 people, including at least one linked to each of the 12 people, for violating our policies.”
Bickert added that the social media company had imposed penalties on almost two dozen additional pages, accounts, and groups associated with the twelve people. Equally, the penalties have been applied to their website domains.
It is important to note that nonprofit the Centre for Countering Digital hate identified the disinformation dozen initially in March this year and called on the social media company to close accounts run by the people.
White House criticizing Facebook
The White House has been critical of the company, and in July, it hammered Facebook for letting people spreading hate remain on the platform. At the time, the White House press secretary noted, “There’s about 12 people who are producing 65% of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms.”
Despite Facebook taking action against the individuals, the White House continues to be critical of the company. Additionally, White House spokesperson said, “In the middle of a pandemic, being honest and transparent about the work that needs to be done to protect public health is absolutely vital, but Facebook still refuses to be straightforward about how much misinformation is circulating — and being actively promoted — on their platform.”