Facebook said on Monday it plans to remove posts with false claims about vaccines from its platform, including removing claims that vaccines cause autism or that people It is safer to contract with Covid-19 than to receive the vaccine.
Social media has increasingly changed its content policies over the past year as the coronavirus increases. In October, the social network banned people and companies from buying ads that included false or misleading information about vaccines. In December, Facebook said it would delete posts claiming to have been disclosed by the World Health Organization or by government agencies.
Monday’s move went even further by targeting organic posts on the website and especially Facebook pages and groups. Instead of just targeting false information about the Covid vaccine, the update included false claims about all vaccines. Facebook said it has consulted with the World Health Organization and other leading health institutes to define a list of false or misleading claims surrounding Covid and vaccines in general.
In the past, Facebook has said it will only “downgrade” or push lower in people’s News Feed, false or false statements about vaccines, making it difficult to find such groups or posts. towel over. Posts, pages, and groups containing such untruthful content will now be removed from the platform completely.
“Building trust and trust in these vaccines is very important, so we are launching the largest worldwide campaign to help public health organizations share accurate information. about the Covid-19 vaccine and encourage people to get vaccinated when they have it, ”Kang-Xing Jin, head of Facebook’s medical division, said in a post on the company’s blog.
The company said the changes were in response to a recent decision by the Facebook Supervisory Board, an independent body that reviews decisions made by the company’s policy team and the rules about them. is it correct or not. In a ruling, the board said Facebook needed to create a new standard for health-related misinformation because its current rules were “inappropriately ambiguous.”
Facebook also said it will provide $ 120 million in advertising credit to health ministries, NGOs and UN agencies to help spread the trusted Covid-19 vaccine. and preventive medicine information. As vaccination centers roll more widely, Facebook says it will help direct people to locations where they can get vaccinated.
Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, has been proactive against misinformation related to coronavirus. He has regularly invited Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases, on Facebook to update live video of the American response to Covid. In his private philanthropy, Zuckerberg has also vowed to “eradicate every disease”, pledging billions of dollars to fight viruses and other illnesses.
However, Mr. Zuckerberg is also an ardent advocate of freedom of expression on Facebook and has previously been reluctant to contain most of the misinformation, even when it is potentially dangerous. The exception is Facebook’s policy not to tolerate claims that could result in “immediate, direct physical harm” to people on or off the platform.
Facebook has been criticized for that stance, including allowing President Donald J. Trump to remain on the platform until after the January 6 riots at the US Capitol.
For years, public health advocates and outside critics have questioned Facebook’s refusal to remove false or misleading claims about vaccines and leaving anti-vaccination groups from becoming vulnerable. touched. That leads to an increase in vaccine misinformation, often from people or groups of people who spread other harmful misinformation throughout the site. Even when Facebook tries to update its policies, it often leaves loopholes exploited by those who spread misinformation.
Facebook on Monday said it would also change its search engines to promote authoritative, relevant results about Covid and vaccine-related information, and prompt the search for accounts that discourage people from getting vaccinated become more difficult.