Facebook on Monday said it is ramping up efforts to stem the spread of misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, spread facts, and figure out who might be wary of getting the jab.
The move includes banning groups that repeatedly spread misinformation and debunked claims about the virus and vaccines in general. Facebook has been highlighting health advice from reliable agencies and removing COVID-19 misinformation for months and on Monday expanded that initiative.
Facebook also says that it is consulting with health organisations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), to expand the list of false claims that it will remove to include additional debunked claims about the coronavirus and vaccines.
Facebook wrote in the blog post:
“Today, following consultations with leading health organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), we are expanding the list of false claims we will remove to include additional debunked claims about the coronavirus and vaccines. This includes claims such as:
– COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured
– Vaccines are not effective at preventing the disease they are meant to protect against
– It’s safer to get the disease than to get the vaccine
– Vaccines are toxic, dangerous or cause autism”
In another blog, Facebook says that it has “connected over 2 billion people from 189 countries to reliable information about the coronavirus through our COVID-19 Information Center and informational messages, and we’ve removed more than 12 million pieces of content on Facebook and Instagram containing misinformation that could lead to imminent physical harm.”
Facebook goes on to add that it has “partnered with governments in more than 120 countries, as well as multilateral organisations like the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, to deliver timely information about COVID-19, including through helplines on WhatsApp.”