Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Facebook will make anti-vaccine content less visible

Facebook will make anti-vaccine content less visible Facebook Is Cracking Down on Anti-Vax Hoaxes
Anna Jefferson | 09 March, 2019, 23:40

In a blog post by Monika Bickert, Facebook's Vice-President Global Policy Management, the company said it is "working to tackle vaccine misinformation on Facebook by reducing its distribution and providing people with authoritative information on the topic".

"We will reduce the ranking of groups and pages that spread misinformation about vaccinations in news feed and search", Bickert said in a statement.

What just happened? Facebook has become the latest company to clamp down on the spread of misinformation surrounding vaccinations. For ad accounts that continue to violate our policies, we may take further action, such as disabling the ad account. Diseases long thought extinct have been reintroduced to fatal effect thanks to these merchants of disease.

Social media giant Facebook says it will remove groups and pages that spread misinformation about vaccinations on its site. The organizations have identified vaccine hoaxes in the past, and Facebook will take action against any that appear on the platform.

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.

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He said parents who question vaccines are not acting out of malice but actual concern for their children. Rand Paul (R-KY) over whether the government should mandate vaccines for children.

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As a response to the criticisms, Facebook announced a multi-step plan to curb the anti-vaccine movement on their social media platform, which includes Facebook-owned Instagram.

An investigation by the Guardian newspaper found that Facebook search results for information about vaccines were "dominated by anti-vaccination propaganda".

The crack down will also affect Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. It is said that her mother had developed anti-vaccine beliefs through her involvement with various Facebook groups. While some of them are already live, some remain in testing phases.

Like Facebook, YouTube has also pulled advertising from videos that feature anti-vaccination conspiracy theories, a move the video-sharing site initially publicized last month. So, who decides what information is hoax or real?

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.

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