500+ clinicians push Facebook to disclose scope of COVID-19 misinformation data

More than 500 clinicians penned a letter to Facebook on Nov. 4 urging the social media company to share data on the scope of COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation being shared on its platform. 

Doctors for America, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit with more than 18,000 physician and medical student members across the U.S., sent the letter to Facebook, which now operates under the parent name Meta. 

The group cited recent Facebook whistleblower disclosures, which have confirmed that Facebook has had "deep knowledge" of the breadth of COVID-19 misinformation across its apps, The Washington Postt reported Oct. 28. 

"So many deaths could have been prevented, and we must act with haste to prevent more, particularly with vaccines becoming imminently available for young children," the letter states. "We simply cannot afford another deadly round of covid and vaccine misinformation." 

The letter calls on Facebook to "take immediate, urgent action to stop the deadly spread of COVID-19 disinformation on its platforms" and to disclose "data about the scope, reach, and content of this disinformation and its impact on users for evaluation by independent public health researchers." 

More than 500 clinicians signed the Doctors for America letter, including professionals from Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins, New York City-based Columbia University and Stanford (Calif.) University.

 

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