One way to stop the dangerous spread of vaccine myths | CNN
July 21, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
Compression ratio: 19.3%. 1 min read.
After the White House said it was reviewing Section 230 and President Joe Biden took back his words about Facebook "killing people," Kara Alaimo writes that Section 230 does need to be updated in a very narrow, very specific way: to address the spread of misinformation or other content that threatens people's lives, as vaccine misinformation does.
On Tuesday, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said the Biden administration is reviewing whether social media companies should be held legally accountable for the spread of misinformation on their sites by changing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects their ability to moderate users’ content.
This statement comes at a time when misinformation – especially about Covid-19 vaccines – is spurring both public outcry and the belief among many that social media companies should be more aggressive in their efforts to fight back.
A spokesperson told CNN that Biden’s allegations that tech companies are responsible for spreading vaccine misinformation “aren’t supported by the facts.
The organization found 812,000 instances of anti-vaccine content on Facebook and Twitter between February 1- March 16, 2021, which it reported was just a “sample” of the misinformation that is widely spreading.
This requirement of this type of updated legislation would allow tech companies to focus their efforts on policing content that spreads widely (and, by the way, also makes them the most money, since social networks rely on popular content to keep people on their sites so they can earn advertising revenue).
The Justice Department and state attorneys general could bring suits against social networks for failing to remove deadly misinformation that spreads widely on their platforms, such cases could be decided by a panel of judges (to further protect against a single activist jurist), and tech companies found to be in violation of the law could face monetary fines.
Like the viruses vaccines protect us against, misinformation has become explosively contagious and deadly on social media.