Facebook To Act On Wrong Vaccine Info

Facebook To Act On Wrong Vaccine Info

Revealed this Thursday, the social network says it will reduce distribution and provide users with "authoritative information" on the subject.

In its efforts to reduce the spread of misinformation on vaccine usage, Facebook has said it will reject ads that include misinformation about vaccinations.

Similarly, it has been learnt that Facebook has also started working with global health experts to take actions against anti vaccine lobby, it said.

Leading global health organizations such as the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have publicly identified verifiable vaccine hoaxes.

The decision follows a measles outbreak in Washington which prompted health officials to declare a state of emergency after the highest number of infections in over 20 years were reported.

If these vaccine hoaxes appear on Facebook, the company said, it will take action against them.

First, it will lower the ranking of groups and pages that spread misinformation about vaccinations in its News Feed and Search options, according to Monika Bickert, Facebook's vice president of global policy management, CNN reported.

Facebook also will remove the misleading content from search recommendations and predictions, reject advertisements found to contain misinformation about vaccines, and disable accounts that continue to violate company policies on vaccine information, she said.

"I'm happy to see @Facebook's thoughtful application of remove/reduce/inform to health misinformation", she said.

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. WHO in February listed "vaccine hesitancy" among its top 10 most pressing global health threats for 2019 and the United Nations last week warned against "complacency" as measles cases soared worldwide.

At the time, Facebook said, "we know we have more to do".

The letter mentioned that above 100,000 children in every round were missed during polio vaccination because of false propaganda regarding the vaccine.

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

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