Here's What Facebook Is Doing to Prevent the Spread of Vaccine Misinformation


March 7 (Reuters) - Facebook Inc said it would crack down on misinformation about vaccines, by reducing its distribution and providing users with more authoritative information on the topic.

Renee DiResta, who researches computational propaganda at the analysis firm New Knowledge and has closely followed the spread of deceptive health information since she started a pro-vaccine Facebook page in 2015, endorsed the company's move on Twitter. These groups and Pages will not be included in recommendations or in predictions when you type into Search.

Last month, The Daily Beast found almost 150 anti-vaccine advertising spots on Facebook that specifically target women over the age of 25, which is the demographic most likely to have children needing vaccinations.

Facebook, the world's largest social media site, will soon take aim against anti-vaxers.

Ads with false information will be rejected and anti-vaccine content banned from hashtag pages and Instagram Explore.

Facebook becomes the next company to take a stand against the anti-vaccine movement with their announcement of new policies against the spread of false information about vaccines. When ad accounts continue to violate policies, Facebook could take further action such as disabling the ad account. Facebook will also reject advertisements that include anti-vaccine information and remove targeting options such as "vaccine controversies".

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The decision of Facebook comes to light after a recent Senate hearing on how to stop the outbreak of preventable diseases, where an 18-year-old boy - Ethan Lindenberger, testified that he was immunized against the wishes of his mother.

In Facebook's blog post, Bickert said the company was looking at how to better educate users who may come across vaccine misinformation.

On Thursday, Bikert and Facebook appeared to reaffirm that stance, as the new statement made no mention of removing groups or pages altogether - something Facebook has done in the past, notably with content relating to conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his show Infowars.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Facebook.

-This is not only Facebook but Instagram as well. "We are exploring ways to give people more accurate information from expert organisations about vaccines at the top of results for related searches, on Pages discussing the topic, and on invitations to join groups about the topic". While some of them are already live, some remain in testing phases.