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Medical Professionals Unite to Tell Facebook and Instagram to Enforce Their Policies
Sign-On Letter to Facebook—February, 2021
On February 8, 2021, Facebook announced another update to their policies to address COVID-19 and vaccine disinformation and misinformation on their platforms. One week later, Facebook has not demonstrated the willingness or ability to thoroughly, accurately and equally enforce its stated policies. It’s time for Facebook to #FinishTheJob.
We’re asking at least 100 medical professionals to sign on before sending this to Facebook and Instagram’s leadership. Will you show your support for holding these platforms accountable?
There has been such a powerful response to this that we’re exploring using it in a number of different venues to advocate these changes. By adding your information below, it could be used as a part of those advocacy efforts in things like advertisements, media outreach and social media content.
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What the Letter Says
Dear Mr. Zuckerberg:
We live on the front lines of this pandemic. We see the harsh realities up close—losing patients, family members, friends and colleagues far too soon. Like you, we are putting all of our expertise to work to help bring this pandemic to an end.
Our patients and our communities rely on us not just to provide care when they are sick, but also to help them navigate health information. Personal care in the face of COVID-19 is complicated, even without the proliferation of disinformation. It is heartbreaking to see high-profile individuals and organizations taking advantage of the pandemic to spread disproven rumors and prey on individuals’ medical hesitations. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the rise of vaccine hesitancy, driven directly by disinformation originated on and spread through the Facebook and Instagram social media platforms. Vaccine disinformation allowed to spread freely on your platforms is prolonging the pandemic and costing lives.
We were pleased to see the latest update to your policies around vaccine disinformation and applaud the initial enforcement of those policies. However, much needs to be done to fully enforce them, while also being certain accurate science-based vaccine information is not inadvertently removed. It’s clear you understand the breadth of abuse of your platforms by individuals, organizations and private groups associated with them. We ask that you take immediate action to fully and transparently enforce the policies you have announced. Until you do, Facebook and Instagram will remain superspreaders of false, life-threatening information.
As we take two steps forward with increasingly available safe and effective vaccines, the content, pages and profiles that clearly and repeatedly violate your policies continue to take us one step back.
Policies without enforcement are just press releases. It’s time to finish the job and put an end to the part of the pandemic that Facebook and Instagram are extending. We look forward to celebrating your success when you do.