Facebook steps up fight against vaccine misinformation

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Facebook also will remove the misleading content from search recommendations and predictions, reject advertisements found to contain misinformation about vaccines, and disable accounts that continue to violate company policies on vaccine information, she said.

Facebook today announced that the company is taking a range of different steps to crack down on vaccine-related misinformation on its platforms. The decision comes after health experts urged the social network to take action against anti-vaccine groups spreading misinformation with no method to counteract its dissemination.

To mitigate the reach of false information on its platform, Facebook said it is partnering with prominent global health organizations, including the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to create factually accurate content. The company will now reduce the rank of Facebook Groups and Pages that spread misinformation.

Facebook will also share education information about vaccines to people who have uncovered misinformation.

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Facebook's crackdown on anti-vaxxers won't just punish groups that spread the information, it will also make them harder to find.

Facebook's biggest move this week was the announcement that the platform will attempt to build back the sense of privacy that was eroded by the house policy to harvest as much data as possible. "As of publication, the timeline for the censorship of vaccine misinformation is still unclear: "as Wired states, a search of "#vaccine" on Instagram's hashtag page displays "#vaccineskill" and "vaccinescauseautism" among the top results.

Anti-vaccination pages are rampant on Facebook, including pages like "Stop Mandatory Vaccination" and "The Truth About Vaccines Docu-Series", which both have over 100,000 followers.

Last month, U.S. Representative Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, sent a letter to Facebook and Google, asking them to address the problem because their inaction may have contributed to recent outbreaks of measles in the country. Pinterest has blocked anti-vaccination searches and has tried to pull down anti-vax content.

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