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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Facebook said Thursday that it took down roughly 900,000 posts related to attempted drug sales or otherwise linked to drugs in the first quarter of 2019.

Why it matters: Some critics of Facebook and other social platforms say they haven't done enough to combat the opioid trade fueling a nationwide epidemic.

By the numbers: Facebook also said it removed around 603,000 posts in the last quarter of 2018 for violating its policies around content linked to drugs.

  • 83.3% of the posts in question were removed without being reported by a user — a relevant number as Facebook looks to prove its artificial intelligence-powered systems can help tame its sprawling platform.
  • This is the first time Facebook has released hard numbers on how many posts it removes because of violations of its policies for content linked to drug sales.
  • The data, which will be part of a report released later Thursday, does not include Instagram and WhatsApp.

The big picture: Lawmakers have put pressure on Facebook and other Silicon Valley companies because they say the firms haven't done enough to curb opioid sales.

  • The social giant rolled out a partnership this week with anti-addiction groups that focuses on combating the stigma around talking about opioid abuse.
  • A Capitol Hill event launching the program was attended by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who has been a persistent critic of the company.

What they're saying: Manchin said after the event that he appreciated Facebook's efforts.

  • But he added that if the companies didn't continue to make changes to address the opioid crisis, he was still prepared to push for policy changes that could open up the platforms to legal liability for opioid-related content.

Go deeper

27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats settling on 25% corporate tax rate

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The universe of Democratic senators concerned about raising the corporate tax rate to 28% is broader than Sen. Joe Manchin, and the rate will likely land at 25%, parties close to the discussion tell Axios.

Why it matters: While increasing the rate from 21% to 25% would raise about $600 billion over 15 years, it would leave President Biden well short of paying for his proposed $2.25 trillion, eight-year infrastructure package.

GOP pivot: Big business to small dollars

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Republican leaders turned to grassroots supporters and raked in sizable donations after corporations cut them off post-Jan. 6.

Why it matters: If those companies hoped to push the GOP toward the center, they may have done just the opposite by turning Republican lawmakers toward their most committed — and ideologically driven — supporters.

CDC: Half of US adults have received one COVID-19 vaccine dose

Data: CDC; Chart: Axios Visuals

Half of US adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and about a third are fully vaccinated, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are still on the rise, CDC director Rochelle Walensky said during Friday's White House COVID-19 briefing. With cases in many states being driven by variants, public health officials have emphasized the need to ramp up vaccinations.

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