A Washington Post survey suggests that people who only use Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) as their news platform are more likely to reject the COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. It is less so among those who rely on Fox News.
The survey is part of the Post’s ongoing “Covid States Project,” and it involved 20,699 Americans across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, between June and July.
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Out of the total surveyed, 68% said they had received the shot, while 18% said they would not get vaccinated.
However, interestingly, 16% claimed to access news exclusively on Facebook, and within this group, 47% reported being vaccinated while 25% said they would not get the shot.
“These people were, on the whole, slightly more hesitant about the vaccine than people who said they got their news exclusively from Fox News,” Business Insider reports.
Roughly 23% of those accessing news on Fox said they would not get vaccinated, while 59% said they had already received the shot.
At present, nearly 57% of people in the U.S. have been vaccinated.
The Washington Post’s findings arrive after Facebook’s scramble with the White House over the platform’s alleged influence on people not taking part in the country’s vaccination campaign.
In late July, U.S. President Joe Biden accused Facebook of spreading misinformation, going as far as stating that the platform was, hence, “killing people.” He later backtracked and clarified that the blame relied on Facebook users.
The background of the accusation was the U.S. missing the target of vaccinating 70% of the adult population come July 4.
Facebook responded that they would not lose their focus by the remark since it was not, according to the company, rooted in any fact.
“The fact is, more than 2 billion people have seen authoritative information about COVID-19 and vaccines on Facebook, which is more than anywhere else on the internet,” the company said in a statement.
“While we can’t say that Biden is right in claiming that Facebook is actually ‘killing’ people, we find that relying on Facebook's informational environment is associated with lower trust in institutions, lower vaccination rates, and higher vaccine resistance,” the Post concluded.
Zuckerberg’s platform did not immediately respond when asked for comment.
Facebook is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders’ families.