Medicine

Facebook announces plan to fight vaccine misinformation

Facebook announces plan to fight vaccine misinformation

The company has made a decision 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. The company will prevent the same controversial content from appearing over the Instagram Explore function an on hashtag pages. These groups and pages will not be included in recommendations or in predictions when you type into search. More specifically, if those ad account owners will continue to spread misinformation, Facebook warns it will disable the account.

"We are exploring ways to share educational information about vaccines when people come across misinformation on this topic", she adds. Additionally, it will also curb vaccine misinformation from Facebook-owned Instagram. Ideally, Facebook would take an even tougher stance on such content, but it does show that Facebook is becoming more willing to take action against such material, as opposed to the "hands off" approach its leaned on in the past.

The social media giant says searches for topics like "vaccine controversy" will no longer yield results for pages or groups known to spread misinformation.

It's the latest step Facebook and others are taking to stem the tide of misinformation on social media sites.

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Facebook launched an offensive Thursday to suppress the spread of misinformation about vaccines on the 2.3-billion-member social network. In February, YouTube said it would remove ads from videos that feature anti-vaccination content.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Facebook. Earlier this week, a teenager from OH who had to inoculate himself testified before the Senate that his anti-vax mother received her information on vaccines exclusively through Facebook.

Pointing out that the algorithms are not created to recognize quality information from falsities, Schiff expressed his concern over posts, messages, and advertising containing vaccine misinformation being spread over Facebook and Instagram, among other websites.

In a statement to The Washington Post last month, Facebook said that most anti-vaccination content didn't violate its policies around inciting "real-world harm". Anti-vax posts and pages, however, will remain live.