Facebook announces plan to fight vaccine misinformation

Mar 7 2019, 11:31 pm

Facebook has announced that they’re stepping up their efforts in fighting vaccine misinformation across their platform.

The social media giant will be working to reduce the distribution of misinformation, as well as provide its users with “authoritative information” on the topic.

Monika Bickert, Vice President of Global Policy Management, wrote in a statement that the company would be taking the following steps:

  • Reducing the ranking of groups and pages that spread misinformation about vaccinations in the News Feed and Search.
  • Finding and rejecting ads that include misinformation.
  • Removing related targeting options, like “vaccine controversies.”
  • Hiding content that contains misinformation about vaccines on Instagram Explore or hashtag pages.
  • Exploring ways to share educational information about vaccines when people come across misinformation.
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“Leading global health organizations, such as the World Health Organization and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, have publicly identified verifiable vaccine hoaxes,” writes Bickert.

“If these vaccine hoaxes appear on Facebook, we will take action against them.”

The social media platform will also be providing additional context so users can decide whether to read, share, or engage in conversations about the information they find online.

“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. We will have an update on this soon.”