Here’s How Facebook is Working to Prevent Vaccine Misinformation

Published March 8, 2019 at 2:40 pm


There’s a lot of information on the Internet and sometimes it can be hard to differentiate between what’s true and what’s not. However, Facebook – the social media giant – is working to make things a little easier.

In a statement, Monika Bickert, VP of Global Policy Management, announced that the platform is working to tackle misinformation surrounding vaccinations. 

“We are working to tackle vaccine misinformation on Facebook by reducing its distribution and providing people with authoritative information on the topic,” Bickert said in the statement.

In order to do so, Facebook is taking the following steps.

  • Reducing the ranking of groups and pages that spread misinformation surrounding vaccinations in news feed and search. Such groups and pages will not be included in recommendations or in predictions when users type into search.
  • When ads that include misinformation are found, Facebook will reject them. 
  • Facebook has also removed related targeting options, like ‘vaccine controversies.’

“For ad accounts that continue to violate our policies, we may take further action, such as disabling the ad account,” reads the statement.

In addition, Facebook will not show or recommend content that contains misinformation about vaccinations on Instagram Explore or hashtag pages.

So, how exactly will this initiative work?

According to the statement, global health organizations, such as the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have publicly identified verifiable vaccine hoaxes. If such vaccine hoaxes appear on Facebook, the platform will take action.

Besides tackling misinformation, Facebook is also working on ways it can help share educational information.

“We are exploring ways to share educational information about vaccines when people come across misinformation on this topic,” notes the statement.

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