Facebook announces changes to vaccine search policy

New Zealand measles outbreak rises above 1000 cases

New Zealand measles outbreak rises above 1000 cases

"We are exploring ways to give people more accurate information from expert organizations about vaccines at the top of results for related searches, on Pages discussing the topic, and on invitations to join groups about the topic", said Facebook VP, Global Policy Management, Monika Bickert. "The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has information that can help answer questions you may have about vaccines", says the info pop-up displayed for U.S. Facebook and Instagram users.

The World Health Organisation said yesterday it welcomed a commitment by Facebook that it would direct users seeking vaccine information on its Instagram, Facebook Search, Groups and other forums towards facts, not misinformation.

For everyone else, the window will suggest users visit the World Health Organization's website.

This launch comes at the same time a measles outbreak has hit the United States, reaching more than 1,200 confirmed cases across 31 states since the beginning of the year.

CDC also commended Facebook's latest move.

Facebook isn't alone in directing users to authoritative sources on vaccine information.

The WHO says vaccines are one of the most powerful innovations in public health history and estimates that they save at least two million lives every year worldwide.

Israeli army says uncovers Hezbollah missile site
But it says it possess such weapons, which could be used to home in on and knock out key Israeli infrastructure. The director of Iran's seminary schools lauded Hezbollah's response to recent Israeli incursions into Lebanon.

However, in a reaction statement on Thursday, WHO's Director-General, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, stated that getting accurate information about vaccines has become imperative in the information age; adding that misinformation regarding vaccines can reverse the progress made by countries in disease prevention overtime.

"Major digital organisations have a responsibility to their users - to ensure that they can access facts about vaccines and health", the WHO said in a statement. "It would be great to see social and search platforms come together to leverage their combined reach".

CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said that parents often turn to social media for health information and to connect with other parents, but it can be hard to know what is accurate and who are the credible sources of information.

Just last week, the social media platform Pinterest announced that searches for "measles", "vaccine safety" and other vaccine-related content would only return results from public health organizations.

Amazon removed anti-vaccine documentaries from the Amazon Prime Video streaming service while YouTube videos no longer shows ads that promote anti-vaccine content.

"When things are hate or things are violence, we take them down".

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