Facebook Will Combat Anti-Vaccination Content By Making Them Less Visible


"We are working to tackle vaccine misinformation on Facebook by reducing its distribution and providing people with authoritative information on the topic", Monika Bickert, VP, Global Policy Management, said in a statement.

The company will set its algorithms to demote pages and groups that spread known hoaxes, and prevent such groups and pages from being recommended to users or from appearing in search predictions.

"Organisations like the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention will also be contributing to the fight against the anti-vaxxer" movement.

Additionally, ads that include misinformation about vaccines will no longer be allowed on the service, and targeted advertising options such as "vaccine controversies" are being removed.

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Facebook said it is also thinking about promoting information from expert organizations about vaccines at the top of results for related searches - a step beyond its usual tactic of de-ranking misinformation. Those organizations have identified hoaxes and common misconceptions when it comes to vaccines, and those will be the standard Facebook uses when determining what groups and Pages to take action against.

The announcement wasn't limited to Facebook alone.

Hiding content that contains misinformation about vaccines on Instagram Explore or hashtag pages. Earlier this month, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, sent a letter to Google and Facebook on the spread of anti-vaccination messaging online.

Hate speech takedown: The firm also announced today that says it has deleted 137 Facebook and Instagram pages that were pumping out misinformation aimed at United Kingdom users. Anti-vaccination groups have thrived in Facebook groups where the platform's recommendation engine can promote other fringe ideas to follow.