Facebook Cracks Down on COVID-19 and Vaccine Misinformation-news

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Facebook is expanding its efforts to remove false claims about COVID-19 and its vaccines. With a little help from global health organizations, the company this week broadened its list of debunked allegations about novel coronavirus.

That includes statements like COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured; vaccines are not effective in preventing the disease; it’s safer to contract the virus than get immunized; the jab is toxic, dangerous, or causes autism.

“These new policies will help us continue to take aggressive action against misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines,” Guy Rosen, vice president of integrity at Facebook, wrote in a Monday blog update. Covering Facebook and Instagram, immediate enforcement focuses on Pages, groups, and individual accounts, and will grow to include additional facets of the social networks “over the coming weeks.”

A full list of claims is available online. Keep in mind, though, that any claims about COVID-19 or vaccines—no matter how right you believe them to be—are still eligible for review by third-party fact-checkers. If rated false, they will be labeled and demoted. Repeat violations may result in removal from the platform.

Plenty of people rely on social media sites for the latest news, and Facebook is no exception. With that in mind, the firm is also improving search results, promising to promote “relevant, authoritative results” and provide third-party resources “to connect people to expert information about vaccines.” The same goes for Instagram, which, in addition to surfacing authoritative results in search, will soon make it harder to find accounts that discourage people from getting vaccinated.

“We are committed to providing more transparency around these policies,” the blog said. “As the situation evolves, we’ll continue to review content on our platforms, assess trends in language, and engage with experts to provide additional policy guidance to keep people safe during this crisis.”

In March 2019, Facebook began cracking down on anti-vaccine content over concerns the controversial information was misleading the public; it also banned advertisements containing misinformation about inoculations. Ads that discouraged people from taking vaccines weren’t prohibited, however, until October.

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