December 15th, 2015

Facebook is reportedly planning to woo Joe Biden by rolling out new vaccine and climate change features

joe biden mark zuckerbergReuters/Alan Freed; Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

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Facebook is gearing up to woo President-elect Joe Biden by promoting vaccine and climate change information, according to a report from the Financial Times.

Citing anonymous company "insiders," the FT reports Facebook is planning to crack down harder on COVID-19 misinformation, and is considering putting a banner at the top of its site encouraging users to get vaccinated once a vaccine is approved.

It will also encourage users to engage with content related to climate change, specifically the Paris Climate Agreement, which Biden has pledged to rejoin. President Trump announced his decision to withdraw the US from the Agreement in 2017, but the move was only made official in November of this year.

Facebook reportedly hopes its head of comms and global affairs Nick Clegg will be its main point of contact with Washington. Clegg is seen as having sway because Clegg was deputy prime minister under Britain's coalition government between 2010 and 2015, when Biden was vice-president.

One anonymous senior Facebook employee told the FT the company views Clegg as its best shot for lobbying the Biden administration.

"A lot of the Democrats simply hate Facebook right now. We know Nick Clegg is not going to save us from that, but at least he will help us get a hearing," the employee said.

Facebook was not immediately available to comment on the report when contacted by Business Insider.

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Joe Biden's campaign team has indicated it might take a hard line on regulating Facebook. Bill Russo, a deputy communications director on Biden's campaign press team, has accused Facebook of "shredding the fabric of our democracy" by allowing misinformation to flourish on its platform after election day.

Biden himself has also expressed support for a policy that could threaten Facebook's business. In January, he told the New York Times he supported revoking Section 230, the part of US law that stops internet companies being liable for content users post to their platforms. Section 230 also allows tech companies to moderate content however they see fit.

Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg has warned against wholesale changes to Section 230 in testimonies to congress. Most recently, on November 17 Zuckerberg said it would "make sense" for Facebook to be liable for some content on its platform, but not all.

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