Pop singer and actress Selena Gomez took to Twitter Tuesday to say that “Facebook is going to be responsible for thousands of deaths” after allowing dishonest information about the illness to spread across its platform, according to Breitbart.
“Scientific disinformation has and will cost lives. @Facebook said they don’t allow lies about COVID and vaccines to be spread on their platforms,” tweeted Gomez on Tuesday. “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!”
Gomez’s tweet was in response to a tweet from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, which read: “Social media companies say that they’re doing their utmost, but in reality, they’re doing absolutely nothing. Our CEO [Imran Ahmed] for @BBCNews on the spread of vaccine misinformation.”
The Center for Countering Digital Hate’s tweet included a video featuring Ahmed complaining to BBC News about how social media platforms are reportedly “doing absolutely nothing” about misinformation on their platforms.
“We took a thousand bits of misinformation, we got some volunteers to report it using their own systems — the social media platforms’ own reporting systems — less than five percent was taken down,” said Ahmed in the interview. And that’s what happens if you actually check up on them. The truth is that we’ve been gaslit by the social media companies who say they’re doing their upmost, [sic] but in reality, they’re doing absolutely nothing.”
Another Twitter user responded to Gomez’s tweet, suggesting that Facebook was already “responsible for several deaths across world,” tweeting:
“Sorry to say: It already happened. Selena. FYI, Facebook is already responsible for several deaths across world due to disinformation and misinformation. Best read articles from @CBSNews and @business…”
The Center for Countering Digital Hate is a London-based nonprofit limited company seeking to strengthen “communities and democracy by disrupting identity-based hate and dangerous misinformation in digital spaces,” according to its website.
Tuesday did not mark the first time Gomez called out Facebook for allowing people to use the platform as an open forum. In September, the Fetish singer publicly shared a private message she sent to Facebook founder CEO Mark Zuckerberg, arguing the social media giant has a “serious problem” spreading “hatred and misinformation.”
Chris Gardner reported on the message, tweeting: “Breaking: @selenagomez posted below DM to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg + Sheryl Sandberg to stop spread of misinformation, racism, hate speech. “I am calling you both to HELP STOP THIS. Please shut down groups and users focused on spreading hate speech violence and misinformation.”
“Facebook and Instagram are being used to spread hate, misinformation, racism, and bigotry,” said Gomez. “I am calling 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.”
Facebook and Twitter have come under fire for accusations that they have unfairly censored information from one side of the political spectrum, resulting in some calling for the federal government to consider repealing Section 230—a rule that distinguishes between online platforms and publishers.