Selena Gomez Called Out Facebook For Allowing COVID-19 “Lies” to Spread
She says the social media platform could be “responsible for thousands of deaths.”
Update December 30, 2020: Selena Gomez slammed Facebook again, calling out the social media platform for allowing "lies about COVID and vaccines to spread on their platforms." She urged Facebook to take action, noting that without intervention, the online giant could be "responsible for thousands of deaths."
She shared a tweet with a clip of Center for Countering Digital Hate CEO Imi Ahmed to illustrate her claims. In the video, the claims that the general public is being "gaslit" by social media companies, which insist that they are "doing their utmost" to stop misinformation when "in reality, they're doing absolutely nothing."
Scientific disinformation has and will cost lives. @Facebook said they don’t allow lies about COVID and vaccines to be spread on their platforms. 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! https://t.co/IAtDpNT5Tt
— Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) December 30, 2020
Previously: Selena Gomez is calling out social media platforms Facebook and Instagram for neglecting to take down pages promoting hate speech and misinformation. Last night, Gomez tagged both Facebook and Instagram on Twitter as she shared a post from the Center for Countering Digital Hate that alerted its followers to the continued availability of neo-Nazi merchandise on the social media networks.
"Neo-Nazis are selling racist products on Facebook and Instagram," the CCDH wrote on Twitter. "Facebook has left these pages online, despite being told about them 3 days ago. @Facebook, please remove this neo-Nazi network in full, now."
Gomez added, "I’m speechless. @Facebook @Instagram how are you tolerating this hate? There's still accounts there even though you have been notified!!"
— Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) December 3, 2020
For the past few months, Gomez has been on a sort-of crusade against hate speech and misinformation online. She's used her social media influence to get Google, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube's attention. So far, she's been successful in having the tech giants take down ads and accounts that spread hate. Elle notes that Gomez wrote a letter to Google, asking them to focus on taking down misinformation about the U.S. election. She sent a direct message (that she shared on her Instagram Story) to Google's CEO Sundar Pichai, which read:
Although we have never met, I just learned that Google is making millions of dollars putting ads on websites that spread disinformation about our election.
I'm hoping you are also just finding this out too.
Please shut this down immediately. The fate of our country depends on it.
Google Ads responded:
Thank you for reaching out about this, Selena. We agree that there is no place for hate or election misinfo when our platforms are used to run ads and we appreciate anytime potential violations are flagged to us. We have long standing policies to remove ads from articles inciting hate or violence or those that promote demonstrably false claims that could significantly undermine participation or trust in elections. When content violates our policies, we take action, including removing ads from the violating pages and in pervasive situations the sites. When advertisers want to go beyond our policies, we give them tools, like the ones UNICEF used, to ensure that they are in control over their ads running against content that is not suitable for their brand. We allow them to exclude specific websites (http://goo.gle/3pqPC5o) as well as entire topics (http://goo.gle/2Uwiz1j). And we aim to make this process as seamless as possible. See more here → http://goo.gle/2IzxdCL.