Why is this important?
Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg shouldn’t allow COVID disinformation to spread on Facebook. Last December, he pledged to stop far-right anti-vax conspiracists, but many remain active and continue to organize in Facebook groups. He should immediately shut those groups down.
Six months after the January 6th insurrection, far-right organizers are regrouping and back spreading conspiracy theories and disinformation — this time with a focus on COVID-19. Social media CEOs, including Mark Zuckerberg, pledged to stop the spread of disinformation on coronavirus, yet anti-vax leaders are still active on the platform.¹
Facebook groups like “Shop Mask Free Los Angeles” were even able to temporarily halt a mass vaccination site at Dodger Stadium.² The Facebook group was incorrectly listed on the social network as a “local business” for months and was only banned by the company recently.
This is no time for Facebook to relax efforts on stopping disinformation on the coronavirus.
More than 600,000 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19. It’s dangerous that extremists are still calling it a “government hoax.”
Now, COVID-19 disinformation is helping fuel another wave of far-right organizing. They’ve been able to hold rallies, close a vaccination site, and were even able to stop Orange County (CA) from moving forward with a plan for a voluntary digital vaccine passport.
One supervisor, who voted to keep the voluntary vaccine passport plan moving, was barraged with hate mail and targeted with social media posts calling her a “worshipper” of Adolf Hitler.³
Facebook says they are removing millions of pieces of misinformation and have systems in place to limit its spread. Yet in reality, they aren’t doing enough and are putting our health and democracy at risk again.
We can’t rely on promises from Mark Zuckerberg to stop disinformation on COVID-19, we have to make sure he follows through.
Sign the petition: tell Mark Zuckerberg to shut down disinformation on coronavirus.
1. “Majority of Disinformation Dozen Allowed to Keep Spreading Anti-Vax Message Despite Big Tech Pledge to Crack Down,” PR Newswire, Anti-Vax Watch, April 27, 2021.
2. “Online activism is spilling into the streets of Southern California, sparking a post-Trump movement,” Washington Post, June 29, 2021.
3. “Anti-vaccine protest at Dodger Stadium was organized on Facebook, including promotion of banned ‘Plandemic’ video,” Washington Post, February 1, 2021.