Facebook’s Covid-19 Misinformation Problem in Europe is Worse Than People Thought

Facebook has come under a lot of very justified criticism for its role in propagating misinformation about the covid-19 pandemic, and while the social media platform has worked a bit to make the problem a little less prevalent in the US, it seems that the company has not placed nearly as much emphasis on Europe. This problem is particularly prevalent in situations where the misinformation in question is being spread through some language other than English.

According to a detailed study conducted by Avaaz, about 56% of the misinformation in Europe that was not in English did not get acted upon by Facebook. If you compare this to the situation in the US, only 26% of misinformation got ignored by Facebook which indicates a clear bias towards English that has become a mainstay of the debate surrounding the internet over the course of the past few years.

This sort of thing is particularly egregious when you take into consideration the fact that Europe is currently having a pretty tough time of it. A destructive third wave of covid-19 is going through the entire continent, and Facebook is not doing its part to prevent misinformation from making the problem worse than it already is.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that Italians seem to be faring the worst in this regard. Over 60% of the misinformation being spread in the Italian language is being ignored by Facebook. The social media platform really needs to take a more proactive role in engaging with content moderators who speak multiple languages, since most of the world doesn’t speak English and they are suffering from Covid-19 just as much as the English speakers of the world and in many cases are faring even worse.
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