Speed Reads

walking it back

Biden backtracks on comments about Facebook's role in spreading vaccine misinformation

President Biden on Monday explained that he wasn't being literal when he said Friday that Facebook and other social media companies were "killing people" by allowing COVID-19 vaccine misinformation to spread online. 

Facebook pushed back against the criticism over the weekend, and during a Monday press conference Biden clarified that it wasn't Facebook, but a handful of the site's users who are putting people at risk by posting false information about the COVID-19 shots. Still, he didn't necessarily let the company off the hook. "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," he told reporters. "That's what I meant."

Later, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki added that the Biden administration is not "in a war or battle with Facebook." The war, she said, was with the coronavirus itself.