Facebook recently stated that it plans to remove posts with claims about vaccines it judges to be false or misleading across its platform including claims that vaccines cause autism or that it is safer to contract the coronavirus than to receive a vaccine.
The New York Times reports that Facebook announced on Monday it will be removing posts featuring claims about vaccines that it decides are false or misleading. The company plans to remove posts that allege that vaccines cause autism or that it is safer for people to contract the coronavirus than to receive the vaccinations.
Facebook prohibited people and companies from purchasing advertising that included false or misleading information about vaccines in October. In December, the company stated that it would remove posts with claims that had been debunked by the World Health Organization or government agencies.
Monday’s decision by the company to target unpaid posts and particularly Facebook pages and groups shows that the company is ramping up its fight against vaccine misinformation. Facebook stated that it has consulted with the World Health Organization and other leading health institutes and has determined a list of false or misleading claims around both Covid-19 and vaccines in general.
Kang-Xing Jin, head of health at Facebook, said in a company blog post: “Building trust and confidence in these vaccines is critical, so we’re launching the largest worldwide campaign to help public health organizations share accurate information about Covid-19 vaccines and encourage people to get vaccinated as vaccines become available to them.”
Facebook stated that the changes were in response to a recent ruling from the Facebook Oversight Board, an independent group that reviews decisions made by Facebook’s policy team. In one ruling, the board stated that Facebook needed to create a new standard for health-related misinformation as its current rules were “inappropriately vague.”
Facebook also stated that it would be giving $120 million in advertising credits to health ministries, non-governmental organizations, and United Nations agencies in order to spread reliable information about the coronavirus and vaccines.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org