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Stopping anti-vaccine movement on social media

Posts with false claims about all vaccines will be removed from Facebook and its Instagram, the company has announced. New and stricter guidelines apply both for user-generated posts and paid-for advertising.

Following consultations with leading health organizations, including the WHO, we’re expanding the list of false claims we will remove to include additional debunked claims about Covid-19 and vaccines, the company said in a post.

“We will begin enforcing this policy immediately, with a particular focus on Pages, groups and accounts that violate these rules. We will continue to expand our enforcement over the coming weeks.”” said Guy Rosen, head of content decisions.

It has been pointed out that users have created so called echo chambers on Facebook to spread anti-vaccine arguments. The new guidelines say that groups where users repeatedly share banned content will be shut down.

Facebook has repeatedly updated its policies on Covid-19 content as the pandemic has evolved.  The policy has meant making misinformation about vaccines less visible on its platform but it has not been removed.

The company said it is collaborating with Carnegie Mellon University Delphi Research Group and the University of Maryland on COVID-19 surveys saying more than 50 million people have participated.

”The survey data shows that people’s willingness to get a Covid-19 vaccine varies widely across the world, with over 90% of people in Denmark saying they would take a Covid-19 vaccine compared to 71% in Argentina and 62% in the Philippines. And in the US, less than 60% of Black or African American people reported they would be likely to get a Covid-19 vaccine.”

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