Facebook clamps down on false vaccine claims

Date:9 February 2021 Author: Kyro Mitchell

Facebook always seems to be in the middle of some sort of controversy, whether it be for the way the platform handles users’ private data or for the type of content posted to its site. It’s that second issue Facebook is looking to rectify, more specifically, Facebook has made the decision to remove false claims about COVID-19 and vaccines.

Facebook announced today that it is expanding its efforts to remove false claims on both Facebook and Instagram relating to COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines and vaccines in general during the pandemic. The announcement was made following consultations with leading health organisations, including the World Health Organization (WHO). The social media giant will be expanding the list of false claims it will remove to include additional debunked claims about the coronavirus and vaccines.

This includes claims such as:

-COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured,

-Vaccines are not effective at preventing the disease they are meant to protect against,

-It’s safer to get the disease than to get the vaccine,

-Vaccines are toxic, dangerous or cause autism.

The new policy will go into immediate effect and focus on Pages, groups and accounts that violate these rules. Groups, Pages and accounts on Facebook and Instagram that repeatedly share these debunked claims may be removed altogether.

Claims about COVID-19 or vaccines that do not violate these policies will still be eligible for review by Facebook’s third-party fact-checkers, and if they are rated false, they will be labelled and demoted.

In addition to removing false information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines, Facebook will also improve search results on its platforms to provide more accurate results. When people search for vaccine or COVID-19 related content on Facebook, the platform will promote relevant, authoritative results and provide third-party resources to connect people to expert information about vaccines.

 

Picture: Pixabay

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