Accueil Coronavirus Social media giants ‘failed to take down 95% of anti-vaccine misinformation reported’

Social media giants ‘failed to take down 95% of anti-vaccine misinformation reported’

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Social media giants have been accused of failing to act on around 95 per cent of anti-vaccine misinformation reported in relation to coronavirus.

A group of young volunteers scoured social networks and found 912 posts between July 21 and August 26.

But only 4.9 per cent were acted on after being flagged.

False posts that were uncovered range from suggesting vaccines can change people’s DNA or are poisonous, to widely-disputed claims linking the virus to 5G.

Read more

The Failure to Act report, by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) and Restless Development, said Facebook took action on 33 of the 569 pieces of content brought to its attention.

Meanwhile, Instagram acted on six out of 144 reported.

A group of young volunteers scoured social networks and found 912 posts between July 21 and August 26 (PA)

On Twitter, six out of 137 were dealt with, but on YouTube no action was taken on the 41 reported to the video sharing website.

The two groups say social networks are failing to act on their own policies.

Researchers also said that platforms have still not acted on three-quarters of misinformation highlighted in its previous report published in June.

A letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden – signed by medics including Adam Kay, Dr Ellie Cannon, Dr Phil Hammond and Dr Dawn Harper – is calling for legislation to prevent dangerous misinformation about health and medicine being spread online.

Coronavirus hits the UK – In pictures

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Electronic bilboards displays a message warning people to stay home in Sheffield

PA

2/50

An image of The Queen eith quotes from her broadcast to the UK and the Commonwealth in relation to the Coronavirus epidemic are displayed on lights in London’s Piccadilly Circus

PA

3/50

Boris Johnson addresses the nation on the Coronavirus lockdown

Andrew Parsons

4/50

Military vehicles cross Westminster Bridge after members of the 101 Logistic Brigade delivered a consignment of medical masks to St Thomas’ hospital

.

5/50

Durdle Door in Dorset

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6/50

Captain Tom Moore

via .

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Mia, aged 8, and Jack, aged 5, take part in « PE with Joe » a daily live workout with Joe Wicks on Youtube to help kids stay fit who have to stay indoors due to the Coronavirus outbreak

PA

8/50

An NHS worker reacts at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS

.

9/50

Goats which have taken over the deserted streets of Llandudno

@AndrewStuart via PA

10/50

Tobias Weller

PA

11/50

Novikov restaurant in London with its shutters pulled down while the restaurant is closed

12/50

London Landscapes: Hyde Park and the Serpentine, central London.

Matt Writtle

13/50

A newspaper vendor in Manchester city centre giving away free toilet rolls with every paper bought as shops run low on supplies due to fears over the spread of the coronavirus

PA

14/50

Theo Clay looks out of his window next to his hand-drawn picture of a rainbow in Liverpool, as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continue

.

15/50

A young man cuts another man’s hair on top of a closed hairdresser in Oxford

.

16/50

General view of the new NHS Nightingale Hospital, built to fight against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London

via .

17/50

Jason Baird is seen dressed as Spiderman during his daily exercise to cheer up local children in Stockport, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues

.

18/50

A woman wearing a face mask walks past Buckingham Palace

.

19/50

A man holds mobile phone displaying a text message alert sent by the government warning that new rules are in force across the UK and people must stay at home

PA

20/50

Medical staff on the Covid-19 ward at the Neath Port Talbot Hospital, in Wales, as the health services continue their response to the coronavirus outbreak.

PA

21/50

Prime Minister Boris Johnson taking part in a virtual Cabinet meeting with his top team of ministers

PA

22/50

A shopper walks past empty shelves in a Lidl store on in Wallington. After spates of « panic buying » cleared supermarket shelves of items like toilet paper and cleaning products, stores across the UK have introduced limits on purchases during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some have also created special time slots for the elderly and other shoppers vulnerable to the new coronavirus.

.

23/50

People on a busy tube train in London at rush hour

PA

24/50

Mia, aged 8 and her brother Jack, aged 5 from Essex, continue their school work at home, after being sent home due to the coronavirus

PA

25/50

Children are painting ‘Chase the rainbows’ artwork and springing up in windows across the country

.

26/50

Social distancing in Primrose Hill

Jeremy Selwyn

27/50

Westminster Bridge is deserted

PA

28/50

A general view of a locked gate at Anfield, Liverpool as The Premier League has been suspended

PA

29/50

An empty escalator at Charing Coss London Underground tube station

Jeremy Selwyn

30/50

Homeless people in London

. via .

31/50

A piece of art by the artist, known as the Rebel Bear has appeared on a wall on Bank Street in Glasgow. The new addition to Glasgow’s street art is capturing the global Coronavirus crisis. The piece features a woman and a man pulling back to give each other a kiss

PA

32/50

The Queen leaves Buckingham Palace, London, for Windsor Castle to socially distance herself amid the coronavirus pandemic

PA

33/50

A general view on Grey street, Newcastle as coronavirus cases grow around the world

.

34/50

Matt Raw, a British national who returned from the coronavirus-hit city of Wuhan in China, leaves quaratine at Arrowe Park Hospital on Merseyside

PA

35/50

Britain’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty (L) and Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance look on as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he speaks during a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) news conference inside 10 Downing Street

.

36/50

The ticket-validation terminals at the tram stop on Edinburgh’s Princes Street are cleaned following the coronavirus outbreak.

PA

37/50

Locked school gates at Rockcliffe First School in Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear

PA

38/50

A sign at a Sainsbury’s supermarket informs customers that limits have been set on a small number of products as the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases grow around the world

.

39/50

Jawad Javed delivers coronavirus protection kits that he and his wife have put together to the vulnerable people of their community of Stenhousemuir, between Glasgow and Edinburgh

. via .

40/50

A sign advertising a book titled « How Will We Survive On Earth? »

.

41/50

A man who appears to be homeless sleeping wearing a mask today in Victoria

Jeremy Selwyn

42/50

A pedestrian walks past graffiti that reads « Diseases are in the City » in Edinburgh

. via .

43/50

Staff from The Lyric Theatre, London inform patrons, as it shuts its doors

PA

44/50

A quiet looking George IV Bridge in Edinburgh

PA

45/50

A quieter than usual British Museum

.

46/50

A racegoer attends Cheltenham in a fashionable face mask

SplashNews.com

47/50

A commuter wears a face mask at London Bridge Station

Jeremy Selwyn

48/50

A empty restaurant in the Bull Ring Shopping Centre

.

49/50

A deserted Trafalgar Square in London

PA

50/50

Passengers determined to avoid the coronavirus before leaving the UK arrive at Gatwick Airport

.

1/50

Electronic bilboards displays a message warning people to stay home in Sheffield

PA

2/50

An image of The Queen eith quotes from her broadcast to the UK and the Commonwealth in relation to the Coronavirus epidemic are displayed on lights in London’s Piccadilly Circus

PA

3/50

Boris Johnson addresses the nation on the Coronavirus lockdown

Andrew Parsons

4/50

Military vehicles cross Westminster Bridge after members of the 101 Logistic Brigade delivered a consignment of medical masks to St Thomas’ hospital

.

5/50

Durdle Door in Dorset

.

6/50

Captain Tom Moore

via .

7/50

Mia, aged 8, and Jack, aged 5, take part in « PE with Joe » a daily live workout with Joe Wicks on Youtube to help kids stay fit who have to stay indoors due to the Coronavirus outbreak

PA

8/50

An NHS worker reacts at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS

.

9/50

Goats which have taken over the deserted streets of Llandudno

@AndrewStuart via PA

10/50

Tobias Weller

PA

11/50

Novikov restaurant in London with its shutters pulled down while the restaurant is closed

12/50

London Landscapes: Hyde Park and the Serpentine, central London.

Matt Writtle

13/50

A newspaper vendor in Manchester city centre giving away free toilet rolls with every paper bought as shops run low on supplies due to fears over the spread of the coronavirus

PA

14/50

Theo Clay looks out of his window next to his hand-drawn picture of a rainbow in Liverpool, as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continue

.

15/50

A young man cuts another man’s hair on top of a closed hairdresser in Oxford

.

16/50

General view of the new NHS Nightingale Hospital, built to fight against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London

via .

17/50

Jason Baird is seen dressed as Spiderman during his daily exercise to cheer up local children in Stockport, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues

.

18/50

A woman wearing a face mask walks past Buckingham Palace

.

19/50

A man holds mobile phone displaying a text message alert sent by the government warning that new rules are in force across the UK and people must stay at home

PA

20/50

Medical staff on the Covid-19 ward at the Neath Port Talbot Hospital, in Wales, as the health services continue their response to the coronavirus outbreak.

PA

21/50

Prime Minister Boris Johnson taking part in a virtual Cabinet meeting with his top team of ministers

PA

22/50

A shopper walks past empty shelves in a Lidl store on in Wallington. After spates of « panic buying » cleared supermarket shelves of items like toilet paper and cleaning products, stores across the UK have introduced limits on purchases during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some have also created special time slots for the elderly and other shoppers vulnerable to the new coronavirus.

.

23/50

People on a busy tube train in London at rush hour

PA

24/50

Mia, aged 8 and her brother Jack, aged 5 from Essex, continue their school work at home, after being sent home due to the coronavirus

PA

25/50

Children are painting ‘Chase the rainbows’ artwork and springing up in windows across the country

.

26/50

Social distancing in Primrose Hill

Jeremy Selwyn

27/50

Westminster Bridge is deserted

PA

28/50

A general view of a locked gate at Anfield, Liverpool as The Premier League has been suspended

PA

29/50

An empty escalator at Charing Coss London Underground tube station

Jeremy Selwyn

30/50

Homeless people in London

. via .

31/50

A piece of art by the artist, known as the Rebel Bear has appeared on a wall on Bank Street in Glasgow. The new addition to Glasgow’s street art is capturing the global Coronavirus crisis. The piece features a woman and a man pulling back to give each other a kiss

PA

32/50

The Queen leaves Buckingham Palace, London, for Windsor Castle to socially distance herself amid the coronavirus pandemic

PA

33/50

A general view on Grey street, Newcastle as coronavirus cases grow around the world

.

34/50

Matt Raw, a British national who returned from the coronavirus-hit city of Wuhan in China, leaves quaratine at Arrowe Park Hospital on Merseyside

PA

35/50

Britain’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty (L) and Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance look on as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he speaks during a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) news conference inside 10 Downing Street

.

36/50

The ticket-validation terminals at the tram stop on Edinburgh’s Princes Street are cleaned following the coronavirus outbreak.

PA

37/50

Locked school gates at Rockcliffe First School in Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear

PA

38/50

A sign at a Sainsbury’s supermarket informs customers that limits have been set on a small number of products as the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases grow around the world

.

39/50

Jawad Javed delivers coronavirus protection kits that he and his wife have put together to the vulnerable people of their community of Stenhousemuir, between Glasgow and Edinburgh

. via .

40/50

A sign advertising a book titled « How Will We Survive On Earth? »

.

41/50

A man who appears to be homeless sleeping wearing a mask today in Victoria

Jeremy Selwyn

42/50

A pedestrian walks past graffiti that reads « Diseases are in the City » in Edinburgh

. via .

43/50

Staff from The Lyric Theatre, London inform patrons, as it shuts its doors

PA

44/50

A quiet looking George IV Bridge in Edinburgh

PA

45/50

A quieter than usual British Museum

.

46/50

A racegoer attends Cheltenham in a fashionable face mask

SplashNews.com

47/50

A commuter wears a face mask at London Bridge Station

Jeremy Selwyn

48/50

A empty restaurant in the Bull Ring Shopping Centre

.

49/50

A deserted Trafalgar Square in London

PA

50/50

Passengers determined to avoid the coronavirus before leaving the UK arrive at Gatwick Airport

.

“A coronavirus vaccine is our best hope of a return to normality,” said Imran Ahmed, chief executive of the Center for Countering Digital Hate.

“It would be a tragedy if it was unsuccessful in eradicating this disease because of lies told to people on social media.

“While we have made enormous sacrifices to keep our society safe, social media companies are undermining their effort by failing to enforce their own policies and claims to act on dangerous misinformation.

Oxford Biomedica shares soar after vaccine boost from AstraZeneca

“Big tech has proven that they do not care, they will not act, and they only listen when their profits are on the line.

“Government must urgently legislate to ensure these platforms take down hate and misinformation that puts lives at risk.

“And companies who advertise on social media can make their voice heard too, by pausing their adverts until action is taken.”

Jo Stevens, shadow secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, responding to the report, said: “This research shows the shocking failure of social media companies to act.

“Misinformation about vaccines – especially during a pandemic – is a matter of life and death.

“We have called on the Government time and again to put the public health and safety before the interests of the big tech companies profiting on the back of a global pandemic and publish the long-awaited Online Harms Bill.”

Rush for Covid-19 vaccine ‘could make pandemic worse’, scientists warn

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube all responded to the report by saying they are committed to the removal of harmful Covid-19 content.

“Since Covid-19 was declared a public health emergency we’ve taken aggressive steps to limit the spread of misinformation about the virus,” a Facebook spokesman said.

Meanwhile, Twitter said: “We’re prioritising the removal of Covid-19 content when it has a call to action that could potentially cause harm.

“As we’ve said previously, we will not take enforcement action on every tweet that contains incomplete or disputed information about Covid-19.”

Read more

YouTube said: “We’ve taken a number of steps to combat harmful misinformation, including removing content that violates our policies, surfacing more authoritative content for people searching for vaccination-related topics and showing information panels with sources for fact-checking information.”

A Government spokesman said vaccine misinformation was “completely unacceptable”, adding: “It is everyone’s responsibility to seek NHS advice, so that they have the right information to make the right choice.

“Since the start of the pandemic, specialist UK government units have also been working rapidly to identify and rebut false information about coronavirus, including working closely with social media companies.

“We are also developing world-leading plans to protect people online and will introduce legislation as soon as possible.”

More about:

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Social Media

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Matt Hancock

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Oliver Dowden

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Coronavirus

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