Facebook Is Officially Taking Action Against Vaccine Misinformation - Here's What to Expect

A Facebook anti vax

Facebook Is Officially Taking Action Against Vaccine Misinformation - Here's What to Expect

The changes in Facebook and Instagram recommendation systems, along with the company's proposed fact offensive, may also ease the concerns of the growing number of researchers who have noted the fast spread of misinformation online and especially on social media.

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

Facebook, where executives for years have said they are uncomfortable determining what is true and false, is starting to listen to critics who have explained the ways its algorithms amplify extreme content.

Following backlash over misinformation on its platform, Facebook said Thursday that it will roll out a new plan to help fight the spreading of anti-vaccination conspiracy theories. As well as predictions as you type in the Search bar.

On Tuesday, teenager Ethan Lindenberger told the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions that his mother refused to give him vaccinations based on information she read on Facebook. The efforts will also extend to Instagram, where the company will stop displaying anti-vaccine content on its Explore and hashtag pages.

Ms Bickert said the social network was also looking into ways of providing more information on the topic to users of Facebook.

Ms Bickert said groups and pages that spread misinformation about vaccines would no longer be included...

The company has chose to take action against accounts which are promoting vaccine hoaxes that have been publicly identified by the World Health Organisation and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, US.

One of the most concerning of these is the rise of "anti-vax" sentiment, with more and more groups forming to promote unsafe messages about the risks of vaccines, and conspiracies behind why people are being "forced" to vaccinate their children, despite such concerns. We also removed related targeting options, like 'vaccine controversies.' For ad accounts that continue to violate our policies, we may take further action, such as disabling the ad account. Anti-vax posts and pages, however, will remain live. "There's a distinction between allowing people to express their opinions about whether or not they're going to vaccinate their children versus actual hoaxes that the World Health Organization and the CDC have said aren't true".

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