President Joe Biden attempted Monday to clarify his claim last week that “misinformation” on Facebook and other social media sites is “killing people,” saying just “twelve people” were responsible for most of the deadly “misinformation.”
Biden said, in response to a question from CNN’s Kaitlin Collins:
One, I had just read that on the Facebook — Facebook pointed out, it was pointed out that Facebook, of all the misinformation, sixty percent of the misinformation came from twelve individuals. That’s what the article said.
So I was asked that question about, what do I think is happening? Facebook isn’t killing people; these twelve people are out there, giving misinformation. Anyone listening to it is getting hurt by it. It’s killing people. It’s bad information, My hope is that Facebook, instead of taking it personally, that somehow I’m saying Facebook is killing people, that they would do something about the misinformation, the outrageous misinformation about the vaccine.
Biden appeared to be referring to a May story by National Public Radio, “Just 12 People Are Behind Most Vaccine Hoaxes On Social Media, Research Shows.” The twelve were identified as the “Disinformation Dozen” by a non-profit called the “Center for Countering Digital Hate.” They include Robert F. Kennedy Jr., among others who are known for their general anti-vaccine opinions.
NPR reported that Facebook had already taken down most of those accounts in May.
It remains unclear exactly what “misinformation” the Biden administration blames for vaccine hesitancy, and whether it would apply to past statements or policies of Biden himself, including past statements telling people not to trust a vaccine that Trump had developed, or suspending the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over a small number of blood clotting cases.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.