Facebook Inc. said Thursday that Alphabet Inc. will remove false claims about COVID-19 vaccines destroyed by public health experts following a similar announcement on YouTube in October.
The move expands Facebook’s current rules against conspiracy theories about World War II and the pandemic. According to the social media company, it deducts coronavirus misinformation, which carries the risk of “direct” harm, while labeling and reducing the spread of other false claims that do not reach that threshold.
In a blog post, Facebook said the global policy change was a response to news that COVID-19 vaccines would soon be introduced worldwide.
Two pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc., have asked the U.S. authorities for emergency approval of their vaccine candidates. Britain approved the Pfizer vaccine on Wednesday and jumped ahead of the rest of the world in the race to launch the most important final mass vaccination program in history.
According to the researchers, bad information about new coronavirus vaccines has proliferated in the pandemic on social media, including through viral anti-vaccine posts shared by several platforms and different ideological groups.
The November report was found by https://firstdraftnews.org/long-form-article/under-the-surface-covid-19-vaccine-narratives-misinformation-and-data-deficits-on-social-media first draft of the non-profit organization that 84 percent of the interactions generated by the conspiracy content related to the vaccine he examined came from Facebook pages and Facebook-owned Instagram.
Facebook has said it is ending published COVID-19 vaccine conspiracies, such as testing the safety of vaccines in specific populations without their consent and misinformation about vaccines.
“This could include false claims about the safety, effectiveness, ingredients or side effects of vaccines. For example, we will remove false claims that COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips,” the company said in a blog post. He said he will update the removed claims based on evolving guidance from public health authorities.
Facebook has not specified when it will start enforcing the updated policies, but acknowledged that “it will not be able to start enforcing these policies overnight.”
The social media company has rarely removed misinformation about other vaccines under its policy of deleting content that could directly harm it. He had previously erased misinformation about vaccinations in Samoa, where a measles epidemic killed dozens of people late last year, and removed false claims about a polio vaccination in Pakistan that led to violence against health workers.
Facebook, which has taken steps to uncover authentic information about vaccinations, said in October it would also ban ads that deter people from vaccinations. In recent weeks, Facebook has removed a prominent anti-vaccination site and a large private group – one for repeated violations of COVID misrepresentation rules and the other for promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory.
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