Facebook buried data showing that a story reported in establishment news outlets about the death of a healthy doctor who took Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine was the most-viewed on the platform in the first quarter of 2021, according to a report in the New York Times.
According to comments a Facebook spokesman made to the Times, the social network shelved the data so it could make “fixes” first — it is unclear what those “fixes” consist of.
Facebook had prepared a similar report for the first three months of the year, but executives never shared it with the public because of concerns that it would look bad for the company, according to internal emails sent by executives and shared with The New York Times.
In that report, a copy of which was provided to The Times, the most-viewed link was a news article with a headline suggesting that the coronavirus vaccine was at fault for the death of a Florida doctor.
“We considered making the report public earlier,” said Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesman, “but since we knew the attention it would garner, exactly as we saw this week, there were fixes to the system we wanted to make.”
The vaccine story that topped Facebook’s charts in the first quarter was a report from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel about a previously healthy doctor who died after taking Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine. – READ MORE