Medicine Hat News
Facebook steps up vaccine misinformation efforts
As inoculation efforts for the coronavirus ramp up around the world, Facebook says it’s going all in to block the spread of bogus vaccine claims. In practice, that means the social network plans to ban a new bunch of false claims in addition to the manifold false claims about vaccines and COVID-19 that it has already banned.
Among Facebook’s new targets: claims include that vaccines aren’t effective or that they’re toxic, dangerous or cause autism, all of which have been thoroughly debunked for both the coronavirus vaccine and any other vaccine.
The platform had already prohibited users from spreading falsehoods that such as: masks are ineffective; vaccines cause infertility; vaccines contain tracking microchips; and vaccines don’t actually exist. Plus a whole host of other dangerous misinformation that’s been debunked by the World Health Organization or government agencies, per a policy that went into effect in December.
In the fall of 2020, the company banned advertisements that discourage vaccinations — with an exception carved out for advocacy ads about government vaccine policies — but at that time it didn’t ban unpaid posts by users.