Don’t Buy a Mask or Vaccine ‘Exemption Card’ From Facebook
A scam involving the sale of bogus “exemption cards” for people who don’t want to wear masks or get the Covid-19 vaccine is still being blatantly promoted on Facebook and Twitter, despite promises from both companies to curb health misinformation.
Advertisements for exemption cards claiming “Medical Mask Exemption” and statements such as, “Under the law of informed consent I refuse any and all vaccinations,” were identified across social networks by Media Matters, a left-leaning media watchdog group and nonprofit organization. According to Media Matters researchers Kayla Gogarty and Kellie Levine, “Links to buy these ‘vaccination exemption’ cards have been posted on multiple social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Telegram.”
The New York Times reported on the existence of mask exemption cards last June when they first began appearing. That batch of cards featured emblems for the Justice Department and a fraudulent government agency called the “Freedom to Breathe Agency.” According to the Times, “such cards and fliers were not issued or endorsed by the Justice Department, federal officials said.” CNN discovered that the Freedom to Breathe Agency was actually a Facebook page of more than 5,500 members that aimed to stop mask mandates from “spreading nationwide and globally.” The cards were being sold in boxes of at least 500 for $49.99.
OneZero identified a dozen pages claiming to sell mask exemption cards, many of which were algorithmically recommended by Facebook
Nearly a year has passed and the scam continues to proliferate online, somehow evading numerous declarations by Facebook and Twitter to eradicate Covid-19 misinformation. Facebook did not respond to a request for comment. Twitter said it is taking action against Covid-19 misinformation.
“We’ve marked URLs associated with this content as unsafe and required the removal of several Tweets for violation of the Twitter Rules against COVID-19 misinformation related to this content,” a Twitter spokesperson said. “In addition to proactive reviews of this content by our Trust and Safety…