The conversations between the White House and Twitter, Facebook and Google had not previously been reported.
Sources close to these talks point out that Big Tech is open to increasing cooperation with the US government.
One of the events that caused the most concern, and one that the administration wants to avoid, was an anti-vaccine protest in Los Angeles this February.
The Joe Biden government needs the help of Google, Twitter and Facebook to complete its vaccination plan in the United States (USA). According to ., the White House is reaching out to tech companies, the biggest names in the social media industry, to fight anti-vaccines. The idea is to reduce the amount of misinformation surrounding COVID-19 that could cause more citizens to doubt the effectiveness of immunization.
The talks between the White House and Twitter, Google and Facebook would have the goal of making them understand “the importance of misinformation,” a source told .. Specifically, they want to motivate them to develop systems to eliminate this type of content before they become a trend and reach a mass audience. In addition, they want to prevent massive anti-vaccine protests from happening again, many of them organized through social networks.
Spokespersons for Facebook and Twitter reaffirmed to . that their respective platforms are working with the White House to help where they can during the COVID-19 crisis. Google, for its part, did not comment and emphasized the actions it has already taken to stop the misinformation. According to the Biden government source, there will be more concrete, public details about this project in the next two weeks.
Previous measures against anti-vaccines
For years now, disinformation in the healthcare environment had proven to be a major headache for these technologies and the network environment in general. According to Wired, since 2015 Twitter has had to deal with anti-vaccine communities on its platform. These agents are not only dedicated to spreading false information about these drugs. They have even tried to stop legislation in favor of vaccination.
UNICEF campaign attacks anti-vaccines
Disney in trouble: Black Panther’s sister is anti-vaccination
Facebook and Instagram on the warpath against anti-vaccine groups
But in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, pressure has increased on these types of platforms to eliminate the influence of anti-vaccines. For example, according to The Verge, Facebook was forced to block ads promoting disinformation about vaccination on its site. One action was quickly accompanied by several restrictions on content linked to conspiracy theories, anti-Semitism and political advertising.
Google has also had to develop more and better products and content so that its users are not victims of misinformation. According to Forbes, last December it started putting new panels in search results. The idea is that through these boxes, users can quickly consult data on the vaccines that have been approved in their respective countries. These measures would also extend to YouTube.
Criticism against Facebook, Google and Twitter in disinformation
Despite these measures, critics of these platforms have not fully agreed with the results. Last May, a group of doctors from around the world wrote a letter to Google, Twitter and Facebook. In it, they asked social media to make a more conscious and meaningful effort to end misinformation surrounding the pandemic. This, because they considered that their few efforts had not been enough.
It must be recognized that, although platforms could do more to deal with fake news surrounding the pandemic, it is not all the fault of Twitter, Google or Facebook. Also, users of social networks, especially some influencers and celebrities, have a huge role in spreading misinformation. We must not go further than the example of Rix last October, who called on Mexico to reject the “plandemic” and the “New World Order”.