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Facebook News Consumers Are More Anti-Vaccine Than Fox Viewers

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Image for article titled Facebook News Consumers Are More Anti-Vaccine Than Fox News Viewers, Study Finds

Photo: At Washington, DC Facebook headquarters, activists [the Real Facebook Oversight Board] lay body bags and call for Facebook to stop disinformation that leads to Covid deaths on Wednesday, July. 28, 2021 in Washington. (Eric Kayne/AP Images for All the Citizens Ltd.) (AP)

Joe Biden might want to consider re-backpedaling after backpedaling his accusation that social media companies [Facebook] are “killing people” by spreading vaccine conspiracies and bunk. A new study suggests that Facebook’s news consumers are inordinately unwilling to get the covid-19 vaccine.

Facebook fired back at President Biden’s comment earlier this month with a blog post and a study from Carnegie Mellon University’s Delphi Group. It reported that, of millions of Facebook users, 85% of U.S.-based users were vaccinated or planned to get vaccinated. “President Biden’s goal was for 70% of Americans to be vaccinated by July 4,” they sniffed. “Facebook is not the reason this goal was missed.” Biden later clarified that misinformation is killing people.

But the study didn’t account for people who consume news through Facebook, potentially exposing them to its massive disinformation mill and targeting them with the content that Facebook believes will get the most engagement. The new study of that user group nudges Facebook off its high horse.

Researchers from numerous universities, specializing in various public health and political science-related fields, surveyed 20,669 people from all 50 states and D.C., between June and July 2021. They found that 25% of people who only got news from Facebook in the previous 24 hours say they won’t get vaccinated, putting it above only Newsmax (41%) and slightly below Fox (23%).

Image for article titled Facebook News Consumers Are More Anti-Vaccine Than Fox News Viewers, Study Finds

An alarmingly high portion of people got their news (“news”) through Facebook. About a third (31%) had consumed news from Facebook over the past 24 hours, ranking Facebook as the second-largest news provider below CNN. Researchers didn’t define Facebook “news,” which could range from anything from user-generated content to Tucker Carlson to the New York Times.

Image for article titled Facebook News Consumers Are More Anti-Vaccine Than Fox News Viewers, Study Finds

As researcher David Lazer, political science and computer science professor at Northeastern University, pointed out to Gizmodo, Facebook’s numbers simply align with overall population data. “The 85% figure, depending on the threshold [the Delphi Group] used, roughly matches our numbers for the general population for being ‘potentially’ willing to get vaccinated,” he wrote. “Indeed, most surveys find about 15% of the population that is really hardcore that says they will never get the vaccine.”

Facebook and Delphi’s numbers (including people probably willing to get vaccinated) gel with the CDC’s report that nearly 70% of the U.S. adult population has received at least one dose of the vaccine and the Kaiser Family Foundation’s finding that 16% of U.S. residents don’t plan to get the vaccine unless forced to. Facebook’s estimate of 85% of users who got vaccinated or are willing to get it matches up.

Facebook could clean up the site, and activists and researchers have been telling it, for a year, about the culprits. And if it really wants to place the blame on users, it could stop algorithmically recommending the most “engaging” content, be it from Ben Shapiro or Aunt Charlene. Facebook will never be able to say it’s done everything it can to fight misinformation as long as it continues recommending content as a business practice. A March 2021 report by the Center for Countering Digital Hate found that 73% of vaccine disinformation originated from just twelve people. Today, the activist group Real Facebook Oversight backed up those findings with a report that over 83% of posts with the most engagement this quarter came from five disinformation spreaders.

That group also dropped a bunch of body bags at Facebook’s door this morning, pictured above. Facebook’s policy communications director Andy Stone tweeted that they’re out for “cheap stunts” and linked to the insubstantial blog post stating that 85% of U.S. Facebook users are vaccinated.

There’s no way to prove that people are dying specifically because of pieces of information they read on Facebook, but associating a primary vaccine disinformation source with death is not a performative exaggeration. As covid-19 case rates are doubling and tripling, especially in states with paltry vaccination rates like Louisiana and Mississippi and Alabama, we’re reading daily reports of sufferers who wished they’d gotten the vaccine on their deathbeds. Doctors are pleading with the public to reconsider.

A pastor told Dallas-Fort Worth’s Fox News affiliate that he regretted believing disinformation after a brush with death. A 27-year-old who suffered a severe case said he’d believed he didn’t need the vaccine because he was young and fit. One mother who nearly died told ClickOrlando.com that she let disinformation-spreaders influence her with government conspiracy theories. A grieving mother recounted her 28-year-old son’s dying words to the Washington Post: “This is not a hoax, this is real.”

Facebook has historically chosen to sweep criticism under the rug with broad statistics about disinformation it’s removed and its number of moderators and pledges to change and add labels, but none of that translates to meaningful responsibility as a leading news source.

So Facebook’s hands-off attitude has reached Executive Branch intervention time. Earlier this month, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that, fine, the Biden Administration will do the job. She said they’re tracking covid-19 misinformation on Facebook and are making a series of recommendations for the company, and days later, Facebook told Biden to quit “finger-pointing.”



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The Biden Administration Is Ready To Go to War Over ‘Right To Repair’ Rules

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Illustration for article titled The Biden Administration Is Ready To Go to War Over ‘Right To Repair’ Rules

Photo: Tom Brenner / Stringer (Getty Images)

President Joe Biden is reportedly gearing up to issue an executive order compelling the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to draft new “right to repair” rules — a set of regulations that will protect consumers’ ability to repair their equipment on their own and at independent shops.

While the FTC will get to decide the final shape of the forthcoming rules, Bloomberg reports that the recommended language will specifically cite mobile phone manufacturers and defense contractors as potential areas for regulation. Under the current policies, consumers — and the farming industry, specifically — are oftentimes prohibited from making repairs on their own devices thanks to software locks, end-user license agreements and the use of proprietary parts that have functionally formed repair “monopolies” that small business owners are forced to resort to using when they need their equipment fixed.

As Motherboard reports, activists have lobbied for years for state-level legislation that would make it easier for the average person to repair their own devices, but have historically faced opposition from companies like Caterpillar, John Deere, and Apple, which have used aggressive lobbying tactics to ensure that there are as many logistical hurdles in place as possible in order to all but ensure that self-repairs are unfeasible.

If and when Biden does release new guidance — as he expected to in the coming days — it will be the first time in U.S. history that a president has intervened in the repair monopoly issue.

During a White House briefing on Tuesday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the order would give consumers “the right to repair their own equipment how they like.” Those comments follow a Friday statement by White House economic adviser Brian Deese, who said that the order was designed with the express intention of driving “greater competition in the economy, in service of lower prices for American families and higher wages for American workers.”

The order is also expected to include a number of other provisions aimed at alleviating stressors on the agriculture industry, including rules that would allow cow, pig, and poultry farmers to sue large processors that try to underpay or retaliate against them.

“We’re thrilled to see the Biden administration step up to protect farmers from repair monopolies,” Nathan Proctor, a right to repair advocate with consumer protection group US PIRG, told Motherboard. “This order should be the first step in giving farmers a choice for who repairs their equipment. This is great news for farmers, and it’s great news for everyone concerned with repair monopolies. It also shows that the Right to Repair campaign is continuing to move forward, and win new support.”

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James Charles Exposed? Taylor Swift Slut-Shaming Scandal Sparks Backlash! Joe Biden Being a Coward.



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00:00 – Why am I like this?
00:45 – New James Charles Allegations
04:03 – Netflix Backlash For Taylor Swift Joke
06:11 – Sponsor
07:08 – Biden Backlash For Syria Air Strike
09:00 – Biden Admin Won’t Penalize Saudi Crown Prince

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✩ TODAY’S STORIES ✩

James Charles Denies Allegations:
https://roguerocket.com/2021/03/01/james-charles-denies-accusations/

Taylor Swift Hits Back At “Sexist” Joke in Netflix Show:
https://roguerocket.com/2021/03/01/taylor-swift-slams-ginny-georgia/

Biden Faces Backlash for Action in Syria:
https://roguerocket.com/2021/03/01/biden-faces-criticism-syria/

Biden Admin. Defends Not Sanctioning Saudi Crown Prince:
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/26/us/politics/jamal-khashoggi-killing-cia-report.html

✩ STORIES NOT IN TODAY’S SHOW ✩

Doctors Urge People Not Skip Johnson & Johnson’s Vaccine for Moderna or Pfizer
https://roguerocket.com/2021/03/01/jj-shipped/

Second Former Aide Accuses N.Y. Governor of Harassment:
https://roguerocket.com/2021/03/01/second-former-aide-cuomo-harassment/
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