Facebook to combat anti-vaccination content, vaccine misinformation on its platform

11 Mars, 2019, 11:14 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • News Facebook steps up fight against vaccine misinformation Associated Press 2:10 PM, Mar 08, 2019

It will also remove anti-vaccination ad targeting descriptors such as "vaccine controversies".

Facebook says it is working to tackle vaccine misinformation by reducing its distribution and providing people with authoritative information on the topic.

Facebook, Twitter Inc and Alphabet Inc have been under pressure from regulators around the globe to fight the spread of misinformation aimed at destabilizing elections by stoking hardline positions or supporting propaganda campaigns.

Additionally, Facebook groups or pages that share vaccine hoaxes, which have been publicly-identified by the World Health Organization and CDC, will be excluded from recommendations and have a reduced presence in news feed and search.

The decision follows the United States Senate hearing on how to stop the outbreak of preventable diseases.

Facebook reportedly would take steps to lower the rankings of anti-vaccine groups and Pages so that they appear less in recommendations, predictions, in News Feed and Search, and even in Instagram Explore or hashtag pages.

In addition, ads that include misinformation about vaccinations will be rejected.

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The pages, operating with names such as "Anti Far Right Extremists", "Atheists Research Centre" and "Politicalised", garnered nearly 175,000 followers on the social networking platform, while another 4,500 followers were found on Instagram, according to Facebook's Head of Cybersecurity Policy Nathaniel Gleicher.

Facebook should ban posts by so-called anti-vaxxers in order to protect children against measles and other contagious diseases, says a British Columbia mother who launched a petition urging parents to start home schooling if they're against immunization.

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".

Federal health officials have attributed a recent spike in the number of measles cases in part to misinformation that has made some parents shun the vaccine.

Some accounts will be disabled if they're found to be continuously violating policy by sharing inaccurate information that could jeopardize the health of the public.

There have been increased scrutiny of the role that social media platforms play in amplifying and financing the anti-vaccine movement.

Previously, Pinterest and YouTube have also attempted to reduce the reach of anti-vaccine content.

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