Facebook steps up fight against vaccine misinformation

Grant Boone
March 9, 2019

Facebook says it will also reject ads that include deceptive or false vaccine information. When ad accounts continue to violate policies, Facebook could take further action such as disabling the ad account.

The Explore and hashtag pages of Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, also will not show or recommend content that contains anti-vaccination messages, Bickert said, explaining the details with a simple example. Diseases long thought extinct have been reintroduced to fatal effect thanks to these merchants of disease.

Nevertheless, both Facebook and YouTube plan on discouraging people from buying into conspiracies about vaccinations; they plan on attaching anti-vaxxer content with educational information from authoritative medical sources.

Facebook is to clamp down on anti-vaccination groups on the site, announcing it will reduce the ranking of pages that "spread misinformation" on the subject.

As an example, The Social Network has already removed more than 3,500 Facebook and Instagram Pages, accounts and groups for "coordinated inauthentic behavior" in the first two and bit months of this year alone - the most recent of which being removals in the United Kingdom and Romania this week.

Recently, another social media platform, Pinterest, suspended all searches for anything related to vaccines.

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On Wednesday, Republican Senator Ron Johnson echoed Rubio's criticisms of bin Salman, while also using the "full gangster" tagline.

Facebook isn't removing anti-vaccination content completely.

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.

Facebook Inc. has been criticized for allowing its platform to amplify anti-vaccine views, fueling a public health crisis.

This is part of Facebook's expanded effort to boost, primarily, election security, and ensure political groups are not working to manipulate voters through 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. Anti-vax posts and pages, however, will remain live.

Last month, U.S. Representative Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, sent a letter to Facebook and Google, asking them to address the problem because their inaction may have contributed to recent outbreaks of measles in the country.

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