Melinda Gates: It’s time to have some good regulation on social media platforms
Brian Sozzi·Editor-at-LargeFri, December 11, 2020, 4:25 AM MST·3 min read
The spread of very often absurd vaccine misinformation on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter is not what the world needs as it prepares to inoculate itself for COVID-19. And one of the most influential names in tech and health care has a message to Big Social Media.
“You know, we have good regulations for TV broadcasting. They were many, many years ago. We have good regulations in the motion picture industry. It’s time to have some good regulation on these social media platforms,” Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation co-chair Melinda Gates told Yahoo Finance when asked about the responsibility of social media platforms to clean-up vaccine misinformation. “We already know there’s a tremendous amount of vaccine hesitancy because of the disinformation. And the disinformation is incredibly unfortunate because it actually results in people’s deaths. If you don’t do the right thing, you get COVID and you could die.”
To be sure, vaccine misinformation — of which Bill and Melinda Gates are sometimes the target of by anti-vaxxers on Facebook and Twitter — has become embedded in the psyche of many people… People who rely on social media for information were more likely to be misinformed about vaccines than those who trust traditional media outlets. And this misinformation spread could hurt the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine…. A poll in September from the Pew Research Center found that about 49% of U.S. adults would definitely or probably not get a COVID-19 vaccine if it became available right now…