Politics

Facebook’s most viewed article in early 2021 raised doubts about COVID-19 vaccine

A news story on Facebook suggested a COVID-19 vaccine was potentially involved in a doctor’s death, and served as the most viewed link on Facebook in the U.S. for three months of the year. 

However, Facebook held back from publishing a report with this information, the company acknowledged on Saturday (NPR). Facebook had made a report about the most widely viewed posts on the platform for the first three months of 2021, then decided to not publish it. The New York Times first reported on the shelved report. Facebook executives had decided not to publish the report because they felt it could make the platform look bad (New York Times). 

This comes after Facebook has come under criticism from the Biden administration, as they feel the platform has not done enough to try and stop the spread of misinformation about the pandemic and the vaccines. Facebook bars posts that contain false information about COVID and vaccines or those that discourage people from getting vaccinated.

However, the platform holds to the idea that it’s more effective to allow people to discuss potential risks and questions about health and does not ban such content. Experts feel these stories on social media are used by anti-vaccination advocates in order to advance misleading narratives causing doubt about the vaccines. 

ARTICLE: MAUREEN MCGAURAN

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: THE TIMES

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