Published: Sat, March 09, 2019
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Facebook, Instagram to remove vaccine misinformation content

Facebook, Instagram to remove vaccine misinformation content

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. It will do this by reducing their ranking and not including them as recommendations or predictions in search.

Global health organisations, such as the World Health Organisation and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, have publicly identified verifiable vaccine hoaxes, she says.

The company has come under fire for the slew of anti-vax groups and pages on the website spreading myths, such as vaccines causing autism and conspiracy theories about mandatory vaccinations. We also removed related targeting options, like "vaccine controversies".

"For ad accounts that continue to violate our policies, we may take further action, such as disabling the ad account", Bickert said.

And content that contains the misinformation won't be shown on Instagram Explore or hashtag pages.

While local doctors anecdotally report a surge of people getting MMR boosters or vaccinations as a result, there's also been a backlash from vaccine sceptics on social media, as CTV reported last month.

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Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Facebook.

Art Caplan, head of the Division of Medical Ethics at the New York University School of Medicine, has said he would welcome changes but said it may be necessary for Facebook to pull "scurrilous and erroneous sites down completely". Facebook late previous year took several steps to combat fake news. Facebook is attempting to reduce the number of people who see the content, she said, without censoring it outright. While some of them are already live, some remain in testing phases.

In a later statement, Schiff added that he's "pleased that all three companies are taking this issue seriously and acknowledged their responsibility to provide quality health information to their users". While overall vaccination rates remain high in the USA according to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of kids under two who haven't received any vaccines is growing.

During Lindenberger's testimony, one senator asked the OH teen if his mother got most of her information online.

Laughing, Lindenberger said, "Not Facebook".

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