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Keller @ Large: Facebook Will Act On Misinformation When It Is Paid To

BOSTON (CBS) -- Facebook is under fire again, with yet another report based on documents released by a whistleblower accusing the company of not doing enough to stop the spread of vaccine misinformation on its site.

Facebook says it has made considerable progress this year, but the proof is in the pudding - false information is still being shared on the company's leading social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram.

In an August interview with Gayle King of CBS, Facebook czar Mark Zuckerberg claimed "we've taken down more than 18 million pieces of misinformation" and are doing all they can to clamp down on lies about the vaccine.

But the latest report drawn from Facebook's files shows the company balked at its own internal findings about misinformation as the vaccine push began last winter, delaying action or outright ignoring the warnings at a time when as much as 60% of the comments on vaccine content were anti-vax.

Why? Because letting the lies flow meant high engagement - and more profit, claim the critics.

But surely, after all this negative attention, vaccine refusal and attendant illness and death, Facebook is now cracking down for real, right?

Not according to a review of fact checks of recent posts on Facebook and Instagram conducted by the website Politifact.

An October 21st Instagram post insisted the feds had approved the controversial anti-parasite drug Ivermectin to treat COVID-19, and another from October 15th claimed you don't see TV ads for vaccines because they'd have to list adverse side effects. Both of those statements are false.

And two Facebook posts within the past two weeks claiming some COVID tests result in microchip implants, and strokes among vaccinated pilots are causing plane crashes, both earned Politifact' "Pants on Fire" rating reserved for the most egregious lies.

So what will it take to get Facebook to put a stop to this?  Clearly, you can't trust a word that comes out of Zuckerberg. He appears to be in total denial.

Congress continues to make threatening noises, but it always takes them forever to act.

I suspect the only thing that will move them to clean up their mess is the same thing that motivated them to create it - money. The recent revelations of their irresponsibility and dishonesty have hurt Facebook's stock price, and they were already lagging behind their tech competitors' performance.

It's the old adage proven true once again by Facebook - money talks, and everything else walks.

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