A news article suggesting a “healthy” doctor had died after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine was Facebook’s top viewed link, according to the company’s Q1 Transparency Report which examined US content views between January 1, 2021 and March 31, 2021.
The top viewed link was a news article by the Chicago Tribune titled: A ‘healthy’ doctor died two weeks after getting a COVID-19 vaccine; CDC is investigating why.
According to the report released by the social network on Sunday, the article link had 53,815,255 views.
“Two weeks after getting a COVID-19 vaccine, a Miami doctor died from a condition that causes internal bleeding,” the Chicago Tribune article reads.
“Although it developed suddenly, a medical examiner’s report said there isn’t enough evidence to rule out or confirm the vaccine was a contributing factor,” the Tribune said in an updated section of the article, after initially reporting that this was the “nation’s first death linked to the vaccine.”
Media outlets have reported that Facebook withheld the Q1 report, and the company released it a day after such reports circulated.
News outlets wrote about the south Florida doctor that died. When the coroner released a cause of death, the Chicago Tribune appended an update to its original story; NYTimes did not. Would it have been right to remove the Times story because it was COVID misinfo?— Andy Stone (@andymstone) August 21, 2021
“We’ve been getting criticism for holding an internal report until it was more favorable for us and then releasing it,” Policy Communications Manager at Facebook Andy Stone said in a tweet.
“On the question of the unreleased report from earlier this year and why we held it. We ended up holding it because there were key fixes to the system we wanted to make,” Stone added.
In the report, Facebook said it is one of several they publish with “the goal of being transparent about what people experience on the platform.”