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Data: The Harris Poll; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than half of Americans say they have little or no trust in social media when it comes to information on the COVID-19 vaccine, according to Harris Poll data shared first with Axios.

Why it matters: For a vaccine to be effective in taming the pandemic, people will have to receive accurate information — and then be able to identify it as such. For many, that will mean receiving it elsewhere than on social media.

Details: According to the survey, 57% of Americans say they have either no trust or not much trust in the COVID-19 vaccine info they encounter on social media, compared to 43% who had either some trust or a great deal of trust in such information.

  • 64% of Republicans said they had no or not much trust in social media info, compared to 46% of Democrats and 63% of those registered as independent or other.

Yes, but: Information on social media covers a broad range of sources, from health agencies and mainstream media to things your aunt heard from her friend.

  • Nearly seven in 10 Americans said "social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter should aggressively monitor information about COVID-19 vaccines on their platform and remove any information they consider to be misleading."
  • A similar number said "social media companies should establish clear guidelines as to what is considered credible information and sources on COVID-19 vaccines and only allow users to share from these sources."
  • But that means nearly a third of Americans believe social media companies should let people share whatever information they want on COVID-19 vaccines, even if the platform considers it to be misleading.

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - Technology

Big Tech is outsourcing its hardest content moderation decisions

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Faced with the increasingly daunting task of consistent content moderation at scale, Big Tech companies are tossing their hardest decisions to outsiders, hoping to deflect some of the pressure they face for how they govern their platforms.

Why it matters: Every policy change, enforcement action or lack thereof prompts accusations that platforms like Facebook and Twitter are making politically motivated decisions to either be too lax or too harsh. Ceding responsibility to others outside the company may be the future of content moderation if it works.

Conservatives warn culture, political wars will worsen

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The verdict is clear: The vast majority of Republicans will stand firm with former President Trump. The next phase is clear, too: Republicans are rallying around a common grievance that big government, big media and big business are trying to shut them up, shut them out and shut them down. 

Why it matters: The post-Trump GOP, especially its most powerful media platforms, paint the new reality as an existential threat. This means political attacks are seen — or characterized — as assaults on their very being. 

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

J&J says its one-shot vaccine is 66% effective against moderate to severe COVID

Photo: Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson announced Friday that its single-shot coronavirus vaccine was 66% effective in protecting against moderate to severe COVID-19 disease in Phase 3 trials, which was comprised of nearly 44,000 participants across eight countries.

Between the lines: The vaccine was 72% effective in the U.S., but only 57% effective in South Africa, where a more contagious variant has been spreading. It prevented 85% of severe infections and 100% of hospitalizations and deaths, according to the company.