With anti-vaccination conspiracy theories becoming an actual threat to humanity, Facebook has decided to get tough on the bullshit, vowing to minimise the spread of dangerous misinformation on its platform.
The company has made a plan of attack which involves diverting people from bung propaganda about vaccines causing autism and similar, towards “authoritative information” backed by the greater health and scientific community. You know, the way it fucking should be.
Facebook will begin downranking groups and pages responsible for spreading anti-vax content across the News Feed, as well as the site’s search function. Any ads that attempt to promote vaccine misinformation will also be rejected and those who make multiple attempts at spreading the content could have their accounts totally disabled.
This policy spreads to Instagram, as well, with the company stating it “won’t show or recommend content that contains misinformation about vaccinations on Instagram Explore or hashtag pages.” Essentially, Facebook is going to remove all of the anti-vax trash from public view across all its platforms.
According to Bloomberg, Facebook was even looking to take it further by “reducing or removing this type of content from recommendations, including Groups You Should Join, and demoting it in search results, while also ensuring that higher quality and more authoritative information is available.”
It’s good to see influential platforms like Facebook take a stand against propaganda with absolutely no basis in science, and hopefully, its new approach will be a successful one. The World Health Organisation currently lists the anti-vax movement as one of the top ten threats to global health in 2019, stating that measles – a preventable disease – “has seen a 30% increase in cases globally.”
If it’s still not clear: VACCINES DO NOT CAUSE AUTISM.