False: The White House Has Banned the Vaccine-Related Information

Verdict: false information

On July 17 Pastark.am website claimed that the US government banned information about coronavirus vaccines on Facebook. This claim was false: the US authorities expressed concern only about misinformation on vaccines.

In an article "The White House Against Vaccines on Facebook" Pastark.am claimed that White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated that "the sharing of information about vaccines on Facebook will be banned." The website also raised the question: "Isn't this another way of concealing true information about vaccines?"

Attached to the article was a video with an excerpt from Jen Psaki's speech made during the press briefing in White House on July 15. Asked about the issue of misinformation on tech platforms Psaki answered that the White House will propose that social media platforms make changes in their handling of misinformation on the pandemic. Psaki mentioned that the White House has started conducting more investigations on misinformation on social media and will report publications problematic in this regard to Facebook.

Psaki did not say anything about banning information regarding vaccines on social networks. Her speech referred to the spreading of misinformation about vaccines, that is, information with false or misleading content.

The White House has been increasingly vocal in its criticism of social media platforms’ handling of misinformation. On July 17, US President Joe Biden criticized social networks for not preventing the spread of misinformation about vaccines. According to him, the epidemic in the United States exists only among the unvaccinated currently.

In response to the criticism from the White House Facebook stated that the company had already removed more than 18 million pieces of Covid misinformation. Facebook also noted that the company would "not be distracted by accusations which aren't supported by the facts".


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