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Old 02-09-2021, 12:39 PM
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Default Facebook bans misinformation about vaccines and COVID-19 to battle conspiracy theorie

Facebook bans misinformation about vaccines and COVID-19 to battle conspiracy theories

User-generated content and ads with COVID-19 and vaccines misinformation will be removed from Facebook and Instagram
Feb 09, 2021

Facebook announced it will boost efforts to curb misinformation about COIVD-19 and vaccines in general, spreading accurate facts from credible sources and other health agencies. Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY /Getty Images

Two digital giants Facebook and Instagram are going to ban more posts that spread COVID-19 misinformation to tackle conspiracy theories about the virus.
On Monday, Facebook, driven by advisory from leading health organizations, updated its policies regarding information about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines and vaccines in general.
Both platforms expanded the list of false claims that will be removed, including misconceptions around the origin of COVID-19 and claims about inefficiency and harm of vaccines.
Facebook stated the new policies would immediately come into effectto counter the spread of misinformation and COVID-19 conspiracy theories on social media.This strategy will cover both user-generated content and advertisements.
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“We will begin enforcing this policy immediately, with a particular focus on Pages, groups and accounts that violate these rules, and we’ll continue to expand our enforcement over the coming weeks,” Guy Rosen, the vice president of Facebook product management, wrote on the officialFacebook website.
“Groups, Pages and accounts on Facebook and Instagram that repeatedly share these debunked claims may be removed altogether.”
He also wrote that Facebook would upgrade search results on its platforms, providing users with “relevant, authoritative” information about COVID-19 and its vaccines. They will also promote third-party resources when people search for facts about COVID-19 or vaccines to “connect people to expert information.”
Facebook will also make it difficult to find accounts on Instagram – a platform owned by Facebook – that dissuade people from getting a vaccine.
It is not the first time when the media giant has renewed its guidelines on COVID-19 content.
Since April 2020, Facebook has been directing users to credible sources like the World Health Organization and other health agencies through its COVID-19 Information Center and “pop-ups” on Facebook and Instagram.
The platforms also coordinated with over 60 fact-checking institutions to globally examine and evaluate content in more than 50 languages. In addition, they added a panel of facts from theCDCto COVID-19 posts, aiming to curb false information,The Guardianreported.While this approach made the misinformation less visible to users, it did not delete it from the platform.
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That is why in December, the company started removing content about coronavirus that had been dispelled by health experts, including the myth about the vaccine microchips, theories that face-coverings do not stop the spread of COVID-19, and statements that 5G networks trigger the virus, The Guardian stated.
The Guardian also reported that Facebook had encountered criticism in recent months for its response to COVID-19 misinformation. In December last year, the platform, along with YouTube, permitted the spread of a notable conspiracy theory videoon their pages. Facebook also neglected to withdraw pages of apopular anti-vaccine promoter who created new accounts after he was banned.
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