Selena Gomez Calls Out Facebook’s Failure to Stop Spread of Misinformation About COVID-19 Vaccines

Selena Gomez has some harsh words for Facebook related to the coronavirus vaccines

The 28-year-old Mexican American singer/actress has fired off a pointed tweet decrying what she said was the social media giant’s failure to stop the spread of misinformation about the life-saving COVID-19 vaccines that are being rolled out across the country and the world.

Selena Gomez

“Scientific disinformation has and will cost lives. @Facebook said they don’t allow lies about COVID and vaccines to be spread on their platforms,” wrote Gomez, who in September shared a private message she sent to FB founder Mark Zuckerberg and CEO Sheryl Sandberg about what she said were FB and Instagram’s problem with spreading “hate, misinformation, racism, and bigotry.”

“So how come all of this is still happening?” Gomez’s latest call-out continued. “Facebook is going to be responsible for thousands of deaths if they don’t take action now!”

Her tweet included a link to a post from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, in which the group’s CEO, Imran Ahmed, spoke to the BBC News about what he said was the critical, widespread failure of major social media companies to remove coronavirus misinformation in the UK.

“We took a thousand bits of misinformation and got volunteers to report it using the platform’s own reporting systems,” Ahmed said. “And less than 5% of it was taken down. The truth is we’ve been gaslit by the social media companies, they say they’re doing their utmost. But in reality, they’re doing absolutely nothing.” In early December, before the U.S. began distributing the two approved vaccines, the New York Times reported that FB pledged to remove posts containing claims about COVID-19 vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts.

At the time, FB said it planned to take down COVID-19 vaccine falsehoods completely if the claims were discredited or contradicted by health organizations such as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“This is another way that we are applying our policy to remove misinformation about the virus that could lead to imminent physical harm,” the company said in a blog post. “This could include false claims about the safety, efficacy, ingredients or side effects of the vaccines.”

In a statement to Billboard, a spokesperson for FB said, “We are committed to reaching as many people as possible with accurate information about vaccines, and launched partnerships with WHO and Unicef to do just that. We’ve banned ads that discourage people from getting vaccines and reduced the number of people who see vaccine hoaxes verified by the WHO and the CDC. We also label Pages and Groups that repeatedly share vaccine hoaxes, lower their posts in News Feed, and do not recommend them to anyone. We continue to remove accounts and content that violate our policies and are the only company to work with over 80 fact-checking organizations around the world. ”

Top Rank Eyes October 3 Fight Date for Teofimo Lopez Jr. vs. Vasiliy Lomachenko

The biggest fight of Teofimo Lopez Jr.’s career could be happening soon…

The lightweight unification title fight between the 22-year-old Honduran-American professional boxer, who has held the IBF lightweight title since 2019 and Vasiliy Lomachenko might now take place on October 3 in Las Vegas, Top Rank president Todd duBoef confirmed to ESPN.

Teofimo Lopez

Recently, Top Rank chairman Bob Arum suggested September 19 as a potential date for the fight, after a spring date was moved because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

DuBoef said “it’s still too early to determine everything” regarding the bout and that he is uncertain as to whether it will be closed to the public.

“I’m not sure that fight happens with fans,” duBoef told ESPN.

Top Rank, which promotes Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) and Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs), has held several cards inside an enclosed area at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. DuBoef said the fight could be a potential pay-per-view bout at the MGM.

Arum told Boxingscene.com he is hopeful to have perhaps 2,000 to 2,500 people in attendance. But those plans could be altered as the pandemic worsens around the United States.

Like many other states, Nevada is experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases. According to the most recent numbers posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state has seen an increase of 5,889 cases over the past seven days, which is nearly a quarter of the state’s total cases since the pandemic started.

The October 3 date was originally reserved for the third bout between heavyweights Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, duBoef told ESPN. That was pushed to December 19, leaving a potential PPV slot available.

Lomachenko is ESPN’s top pound-for-pound fighter, while Lopez won the IBF’s lightweight belt in December, when he stopped Richard Commey in the second round for his first major professional championship.