White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki answers questions during the daily briefing on May 24, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee | Getty Images
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Friday Facebook and other social media companies need to do more to fight Covid-19 vaccine misinformation on their services.
“We’re dealing with a life or death issue here and so everybody has a role to play in making sure there’s accurate information,” Psaki said. “They’re a private sector company. They’re gonna make decisions about additional steps they can take. It’s clear there are more that can be taken.”
Psaki’s comments come one day after she said the Biden administration was flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread misinformation.
“We are regularly making sure social media platforms are aware of the latest narratives dangerous to public healths that we and many other Americans are seeing across all of social and traditional media,” she said. “We work to engage with them to better understand the enforcement of social media platform policy.”
One example Psaki highlighted is the spread of a false narrative that says Covid-19 vaccines cause infertility.
“This is troubling but a persistent narrative that we and many have seen, and we want to know that the social media platforms are taking steps to address it,” Psaki said. “That is inaccurate, false information.”
Psaki noted additional steps Facebook and other social media services can take to combat misinformation. This includes publicly sharing the impact of misinformation on their services, promoting quality information, and taking faster action against harmful posts.
“As you all know, information travels quite quickly,” she said. “If it’s up there for days and days and days, when people see it — it’s hard to put that back in a box.”
Facebook did not respond to a request for comment.