Facebook releases plan to combat spread of vaccine misinformation

11 March, 2019, 11:17 | Author: Veronica Peterson
  • Facebook Combat Vaccine Misinformation

The company will instead provide users with "authoritative information" on the topic of vaccinations.

Facebook says it won't allow anti-vaccinations posts to spread on its platform.

Along with expelling anti-vaccine related targeting options such as "vaccine controversies", Facebook would also reject advertisements that propagate false info on vaccinations, and even step up to disable the violating accounts.

If these vaccine hoaxes appear on Facebook, the company said, it will take action against them.

In a statement, Monika Bickert, vice president of global policy management, said, "If a group or Page admin posts this vaccine misinformation, we will exclude the entire group or Page from recommendations, reduce these groups and Pages' distribution in News Feed and Search, and reject ads with this misinformation".

"I'm happy to see @Facebook's thoughtful application of remove/reduce/inform to health misinformation", she said.

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It won't be promoted through ads or recommendations, and Facebook will make it less visual in searches.

NEW YORK (AP) - Social media giant Facebook says it is hiding groups and pages that spread misinformation about vaccinations from the search function of its site.

The World Health Organization recently dubbed "vaccine hesitancy" one of the top global threats of 2019, a warning punctuated by one of the worst measles outbreaks in decades, which has sickened at least 75 people across the Pacific Northwest - most of whom are unvaccinated children under 10 years old. While Facebook has not said exactly what this could look like, the platform now suggests related articles from sources like Snopes on articles that have been proven false.

"Studies from across the world have shown that anti-vaccine movements are always confronted through logic and technical facts but with unrestricted outpour of information through social media, authenticity of the content is always debatable", the letter said. There are a number of anti-vaccine groups that focus on lobbying against mandatory vaccination.

They would take action against vaccine hoaxes found on Facebook, especially when vaccine hoaxes have been veritably identified by significant global health organizations like the WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. YouTube and Pinterest are also now taking steps to tackle the spread of vaccine misinformation.


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