Facebook Bans All Anti-Vaccination Misinformation On The Platform

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Facebook Bans All Anti-Vaccination Misinformation On The Platform

Facebook has banned all anti-vaccine propaganda on their social-media platform after years of inaction. The social-media giant will now also ban unfounded health claims, and other misinformation.

The restrictions will apply to advertisers and private individuals and also apply to the Instagram platform.

For many years, but in particular since the start of the pandemic, conspiracy theories regarding vaccinations and other unscientific medical analysis have been allowed to proliferate on Facebook, with pages and groups distributing such information gathering millions of followers. These unfounded conspiracies range from the idea that vaccines are dangerous, to wilder conspiracies that state the pandemic is a hoax or that it was created intentionally by powerful secret organisations.

Guy Rosen, who works at Facebook, said:

"We will begin enforcing this policy immediately, with a particular focus on Pages, groups and accounts that violate these rules. We'll continue to expand our enforcement over the coming weeks."

The conspiracy theories are, of course, not just harmless fun. Misinformation can lead to individuals not taking the pandemic seriously and therefore not following social-distancing rules, which ultimately leads to their own death or the deaths of others, or cause people to forego vaccination, leaving them vulnerable to future infection.

Facebook has previously clamped down on content that said masks do not stop the spread of Covid-19, that nanochips were inside vaccines and that 5G technology was responsible for the pandemic. These new rules will, however, go much further.

Facebook received serious criticism after an unscientific anti-vaccination video went viral and was seen by tens-of-millions of people.

Kang-Xing Jin, Facebook's head of health, said of the new regulations:

"Health officials and health authorities are in the early stages of trying to vaccinate the world against COVID-19, and experts agree that rolling this out successfully is going to be helping build confidence in vaccines. We know that misinformation thrives in the absence of good information. So because of this, a core part of our strategy is actually partnering with health authorities and amplifying credible information to meet people's needs and get their questions answered where they are."

He added:

"For example, we will remove false claims that COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips, or anything else that isn't on the official vaccine ingredient list. We will also remove conspiracy theories about COVID-19 vaccines that we know today are false: like specific populations are being used without their consent to test the vaccine's safety."

It is thought that even 1 in 10 people refusing to get the vaccine could result in the pandemic continue to burn at a high-rate and leave it endemic within communities.

[h/t: The New York Times]

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Thinking Humanity: Facebook Bans All Anti-Vaccination Misinformation On The Platform
Facebook Bans All Anti-Vaccination Misinformation On The Platform
Facebook has banned all anti-vaccine propaganda on their social-media platform after years of inaction. The social-media giant will now also ban unfou
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