Report: Instagram Blacklists Anti-Vaccine Hashtags Following Facebook, YouTube Crackdowns

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Christophe SIMON/AFP
CHARLIE NASH

Facebook-owned social network Instagram will blacklist anti-vaccine hashtags in an effort to crack down on “misinformation.”

On Thursday, a spokesman for the company declared, “As part of our work to address health-related misinformation on Instagram, we’re looking at ways to minimize recommendations of this content and accounts that post it across Instagram — including in ‘Suggested For You’, Explore and hashtags.”

The spokesman explained that “short-term measures” would include blocking “known health-related misinformation including #vaccinescauseautism, #vaccinesarepoison, and #vaccinescauseids.”

After news outlets noted on Thursday that the block had not yet been implemented, a spokesman clarified, “We noted that this process would take place over several weeks.”

Earlier this month, Instagram parent company Facebook also announced that it would crack down on anti-vaccine content.

As reported by the Hill, Facebook’s crackdown came “after weeks of pushback from critics who said the social media giant was not doing enough to stave off the spread of conspiracy theories promoting misinformation about vaccines,” and the social network “will no longer promote anti-vaccine groups and pages in search results, and will not surface them in users’ newsfeeds.”

“Facebook-owned Instagram’s search and ‘explore’ features will also no longer promote posts that spread anti-vaccine content,” the Hill reported.

Pinterest and Google’s YouTube have also cracked down on anti-vaccine content, with Pinterest censoring vaccine-related searches and YouTube demonetizing anti-vaccine videos.

Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter, or like his page at Facebook.

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