Facebook To Remove All False Claims About COVID-19, Vaccines
Facebook has updated its misinformation policies around COVID-19 several times since the pandemic began.
Social media giant Facebook announced on Monday, 9 February, that it is going to expand its efforts to remove false claims on its own platform and Instagram about COVID-19, its vaccines and vaccines in general during the pandemic.
The company announced in a blogpost the expanded list of false COVID-19 and vaccine-related claims that will be removed. They include claims like COVID-19 is man-made, vaccines are not effective at preventing the disease they were created to protect against, it's safer to get a disease than to get its vaccine, and that vaccines are dangerous, toxic, or cause autism, among others.
Facebook has updated its misinformation policies around COVID-19 several times since the pandemic began. The social network began with reducing the reach of false claims about coronavirus by limiting distribution and adding warning labels with more context.
According to the company, they put ‘warning labels on about 50 million pieces of content related to COVID-19 on Facebook, based on around 7,500 articles by their independent fact-checking partners’.
Earlier this month, while discussing the policy in a virtual event, Facebook Product Policy Manager, Misinformation Alice Budisatrijo had said that the social media platform had removed 12 million pieces of COVID-19 misinformation between March and October 2020.
In October 2020, Facebook had said that it would restrict people from purchasing advertisements that included false or misleading information about vaccines.
The social network said that the recent change in its policy was taken after consultations with leading health organisations, including the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Starting this week in the US, Facebook will feature links in the COVID-19 information center to the local ministry of health websites, to help people understand whether they’re eligible to get vaccinated and how to go about it.
“And in the coming weeks, as more information becomes available, we'll continue to expand this feature to more countries and improve it to make it easier for people to see where and when they can get vaccinated in just a few taps,” Facebook informed.
Building trust and confidence in vaccines is critical, “So we’re launching the largest worldwide campaign to help public health organisations share accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines and encourage people to get vaccinated, as vaccines become available to them.”
Facebook is giving 120 million dollars in ad credits to help health ministries, NGOs and UN agencies reach billions of people around the world with COVID-19 vaccine and preventive health information.
(With IANS inputs)
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