Medicine

Facebook takes down fake accounts; to tackle anti-vaccine info

Facebook takes down fake accounts; to tackle anti-vaccine info

Facebook detailed initiatives to derail the distribution of vaccine misinformation on its social media platform.

In mid-February, Facebook told USA TODAY it had "taken steps" to reduce fake health news and anti-vaxx posts and said it was in plans for making anti-vaccination content on its site less visible amid a measles outbreak that has brought to light a conversation about preventative shots.

Facebook has made a decision to remove content involving anti-vaccination information in an effort to stop the spread of misinformation.

When it discovers ads with misinformation about vaccinations, "we will reject them".

Apart from that Facebook-owned Instagram will also have all ads which pertain to anti-vaccination downranked or removed.

"We won't show or recommend content that contains misinformation about vaccinations on Instagram Explore or hashtag pages".

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Facebook is also "exploring ways to share educational information about vaccines", possibly by adding such information to inaccurate posts, Bickert said. 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.

"For ad accounts that continue to violate our policies, we may take further action, such as disabling the ad account".

Some of the most popular pages that were taken down defended the role of migrants and Muslims in Britain, and highlighted hostile content related to Tommy Robinson, the former leader of far-right extremist group English Defense League, according to a blog here by Digital Forensic Research (DFR) Lab.

"It ran pages and groups whose names frequently changed in order to drum up more followers and operated fake accounts to engage in hate speech and spread divisive comments on both sides of United Kingdom political debate", Facebook was quoted as saying by The Guardian late on Thursday.

In February, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., sent letters to the heads of Facebook and Google, which also has been under fire for YouTube's role in promoting misinformation, asking how they plan to protect their users from potentially unsafe hoaxes.

Lindenberger, who famously vaccinated himself against his mother's wishes, spoke to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Tuesday and reiterated Schiff's calls for reliable information - not the type of stuff his mother was reading on social media. "Counter-speech in the form of accurate information from experts in the field ... can help create a safer and more respectful environment".


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