Facebook says it’s going all in to block the spread of bogus vaccine claims

The platform had already prohibited users from spreading falsehoods that such as: masks are ineffective; vaccines cause infertility; vaccines contain tracking microchips; and vaccines don’t actually exist. Plus a whole host of other dangerous misinformation that’s been debunked by the World Health Organization or government agencies, per a policy that went into effect in December.

In the fall of 2020, the company banned advertisements that discourage vaccinations — with an exception carved out for advocacy ads about government vaccine policies — but at that time it didn’t ban unpaid posts by users.

But even with Facebook’s evolving policies, those ideas have lived on and spread from private groups to the pages of Instagram influencers peddling health advice to new mothers. It’s not clear if Facebook’s newly-expanded policy will be more effective than its past attempts to clamp down on COVID and vaccine-related misinformation.

“Millions of people are being fed dangerous lies which lead them to doubt government guidance on COVID and on vaccines, prolonging the pandemic,” said Imran Ahmed, CEO of the watchdog group Center for Countering Digital Hate.



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