Selena Gomez Slams Facebook for Spreading 'Lies' About COVID and Vaccines
Selena Gomez is urging Facebook to crack down on misinformation being spread about COVID-19 and vaccines on their platform.
On Tuesday, the star, 28, shared a video on Twitter of Center for Countering Digital Hate CEO Imi Ahmed saying during a BBC News interview that the public is being "gaslit" by social media companies, including Facebook, who claim "they're doing their utmost" to stop the spread of misinformation when "in reality, they're doing absolutely nothing."
Alongside the video, Gomez tweeted, "Scientific disinformation has and will cost lives."
"@Facebook said they don't allow lies about COVID and vaccines to be spread on their platforms," she wrote. "So how come all of this is still happening? Facebook is going to be responsible for thousands of deaths if they don't take action now!"
Earlier this month, Gomez also called out Facebook and Instagram for "tolerating" hate after the Center for Countering Digital Hate tweeted on Nov. 23 that pages created by "Neo-Nazis" selling "racist products" on the platforms were still active despite being reported days prior.
"I'm speechless," Gomez tweeted on Dec. 2. "@Facebook @Instagram how are you tolerating this hate? There's still accounts there even though you have been notified!!"
Back in September, Gomez shared a screenshot of a private message she sent to Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, as well as the company's COO Sheryl Sandberg, in which she asked them to stop allowing "misinformation" and "hate speech" to be shared on their platforms.
"It's been a while since we sat down. We have a serious problem," the singer wrote in the message shared on Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook in 2012. Gomez also claimed the two social media platforms "are being used to spread hate, misinformation, racism and bigotry."
"I am calling on you both to HELP STOP THIS. Please shut down groups and users focused on spreading hate speech, violence and misinformation. Our future depends on it," she added. "This is an election year. We cannot afford to have misinformation about voting. There has to be fact checking and accountability. Hope to hear back from you ASAP."
Facebook has long faced criticism for showing all types of political ads, even those that have contained lies and misinformation — as well as for ignoring warnings about threats made on the platform.
In response, the Stop Hate for Profit campaign was announced on June 17, when a number of civil rights groups, including the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League, took out a full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times.
"Today, we are asking all businesses to stand in solidarity with our most deeply held American values of freedom, equality and justice and not advertise on Facebook’s services in July," the ad read. "Let's send Facebook a powerful message: Your profits will never be worth promoting hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism and violence."
Although Zuckerberg went on to announce that the company would be changing some of its policies in order to prohibit hate speech from appearing in its ads, the Stop Hate for Profit campaign said that the "small number of small changes" would not be enough and would barely "make a dent" in the enormous problem.
"To be clear, Mr. Zuckerberg has not yet approached the type of meaningful action that we want to see," the campaign wrote in a statement in July. "This movement will not go away until Facebook makes the reasonable changes that society wants."
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