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The Biden administration has claimed to fight misinformation at all costs, even setting up a “disinformation governance board,” and big tech outfits like Twitter have flagged posts they claim contain misinformation about important issues like coronavirus vaccines contain.
But while the White House itself shared fake information about vaccines on Thursday, Twitter has yet to take note of the inaccurate message to many users.
“When President Biden took office, millions were unemployed and there was no vaccine. Over the past 15 months, the economy has added 8.3 million jobs and the unemployment rate is 3.6% – the fastest drop in inaugural unemployment on record,” the verified White House Twitter account wrote.
Observers were quick to point out that the COVID-19 vaccine was indeed available when Biden took office on Jan. 20, 2021. The same Twitter account even shared a video of then-President-elect Biden receiving his second dose a week before Inauguration Day.
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Biden previously shared a picture of himself receiving his first dose on December 21, 2020.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Twitter, which has taken steps to prevent misinformation on the platform, claims in its guidelines that users “must not use Twitter’s services to share false or misleading information about COVID-19 that may cause harm.”
The policy goes on to say that content related to COVID-19 will be considered a violation if it is “proven to be false or misleading based on publicly available authoritative sources.” The social media juggernaut then explains that these types of violations could result in users being banned from their accounts until the tweet is deleted, and repeat offenders could be issued a permanent ban.
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Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.
Some users received a disclaimer that “readers added context” to indicate the first vaccines were administered before Biden took office, but only a “small group of people” who are part of a “pilot program” received the notification. It’s unclear why the White House tweet received this message instead of a harsher punishment, which wasn’t even visible to most followers.
Twitter did not immediately respond when asked for an explanation regarding the “added context” message given to the tweet, rather than something indicating the information shared by the White House was incorrect.
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Many Americans have lost access to their account for spreading inaccurate information, according to Twitter, and satirical website The Babylon Bee was recently banned from their account for making a joke in which the Biden administration official, dr Rachel Levine, was named the satire website’s Man of the Year. for 2022. Levine, the US Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, is a transgender woman.
While Twitter didn’t immediately take action against the clear misinformation from the White House, critics from across the media landscape took notice of the breach.
Fox News’ Joe Concha tweeted“Has anyone the customer service number for the new disinformation board?”
CNN’s Daniel Dale, who has been critical of Biden since the network’s recent leadership change, also called out the tweet.
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“’There was no vaccine available’ is clearly wrong. More than 3 million Americans were fully vaccinated and more than 18 million had at least one dose by Biden’s inauguration day. Biden himself was fully vaccinated,” Dale said tweeted. “Obviously it became more widely available over time, but.”
Glenn Kessler, Washington Post fact-checker asked“Who runs the @WhiteHouse Twitter account?”
“Delete this fake tweet. Biden himself has said that 8% of seniors had received the vaccine the day he took office,” Kessler wrote. “Biden was one of them.”
Fox News’ Gabriel Hays contributed to this report.