The nation’s leading social media companies pledged to put warning labels on COVID-19 and COVID vaccines posts to stop the spread of falsehoods, conspiracy theories and hoaxes that are fueling vaccine hesitancy in the USA.
With the exception of Facebook, nearly all of them are losing the war against COVID disinformation. That’s the conclusion of a new report shared exclusively with USA TODAY.
As the pace of the nation’s immunizations slows and public health agencies struggle to get shots in arms, Advance Democracy found that debunked claims sowing unfounded fears about the vaccines are circulating largely unfettered on Twitter and TikTok, including posts and videos that falsely allege the federal government is covering up deaths caused by the vaccines or that it is safer to get COVID-19 than to get the vaccine.
Twitter began labeling tweets that include misleading or false information about COVID-19 vaccines in March. It also started using a “strike system” to eventually remove accounts that repeatedly violate its rules.
Yet none of the top tweets on Twitter using popular anti-vaccine hashtags like #vaccineskill, #novaccine, #depopulation and #plandemic had labels as of May 3, according to Advance Democracy, a research organization that studies disinformation and extremism.