NEWS4 December 2020

Facebook to remove anti-vaccine content

Covid-19 News North America

US – Facebook will begin taking down posts spreading anti-vaccine conspiracy theories that have been debunked by public health experts.

In a blog post by Kang-Xing Jin, head of health at Facebook, the company confirmed it would work to stop the spread of misinformation about vaccines undermining Covid-19 vaccination programmes.

This includes any false claims about the safety, efficacy, ingredients and side-effects of the vaccines, Facebook said.

Facebook’s decision follows the announcement of several viable Covid-19 vaccines, with the UK having already authorised the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, with a vaccination programme due to start next week.

The social media giant has in recent weeks announced several policies to combat the spread of misinformation through its platforms, having already issued restrictions on political advertising in the wake of last month’s US presidential election.

“We will remove false claims that Covid-19 vaccines contain microchips, or anything else that isn’t on the official vaccine ingredient list,” the blog post says.

“We will also remove conspiracy theories about Covid-19 vaccines that we know today are false: like specific populations are being used without their consent to test the vaccine’s safety.

“Since it’s early and facts about Covid-19 vaccines will continue to evolve, we will regularly update the claims we remove based on guidance from public health authorities as they learn more.”

The company said it would not be able to do this “overnight”, and did not provide a date for when it would start removing anti-vaccine content.

@RESEARCH LIVE

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