Facebook removes fake news about Covid vaccines
Fake news on Coronavirus vaccines will be banned on Facebook. The hugely popular social network is taking an uncompromising stance against false information about Covid-19 vaccines and the virus.
On Monday, February 8, the company released a note in which it declares itself ready to remove misleading content from its platform regarding the world pandemic and the effects of vaccinations.
In the Facebook help center it is shown with some precision which deceptive content about the Coronavirus will be deleted from the platform.
Likewise, Instagram profiles (owned by the Facebook company) opened by those who spread misleading news about Covid will be suspended or in any case more difficult to reach.
Facebook says stop to fake vaccine news
With scientific advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Zuckerberg-owned giant has decided to remove all false or misleading claims about Covid-19. For example, claims that the virus was artificially created will be deleted in the near future.
Likewise, fake news regarding vaccinations will be removed: we will no longer read, among the various inaccuracies, that vaccines cause autism, or that it is less risky to get sick than to get vaccinated.
A targeted action
The countermeasures taken by Facebook will affect pages, groups and accounts that violate its new rules. The company will initially invite you to remove the misleading content, after which it will ban the accounts of repeat offenders.
Furthermore, those who have violated the rules against disinformation on vaccines and Covid-19 will have to wait, for a certain period, for the approval of each new post before seeing it published on the social network.
The misleading posts, then, will be somehow reported and “labeled”. The company said: “These new policies will help us continue to take aggressive action against disinformation about Covid-19 and vaccines.”
Repression and information
In addition to taking a tougher stance on vaccine misinformation, Facebook states that at the same time it will take some steps to provide the correct information to its users. Already this week, in the Covid-19 information center of Facebook and in that of Instagram it will be explained how and where to be vaccinated. Users will find a series of direct links to the websites of local health authorities, which will offer all the information on who is entitled to get vaccinated and how to book the vaccination.
There is also an important economic effort: Facebook will donate $ 120 million in advertising credits to public health agencies, NGOs and the United Nations to provide the world’s population with correct health information.
The Facebook Note: Removed over 12 million content
In an excerpt from the long note we read: “A year ago, Covid-19 was declared a public health emergency, and we have since helped health authorities reach billions of people with accurate information and supported health care efforts and economic. We have connected over 2 billion people from 189 countries to reliable coronavirus information through our Covid-19 Information Center and information messages. We have removed more than 12 million content on Facebook and Instagram containing incorrect information. “
In another passage, the company states that “there is still a long way to go, and in 2021 we will focus on supporting health leaders and public officials in their work to vaccinate billions of people against Covid-19.”
Facebook and fake news on vaccines: from April 2020 to today
Already in April 2020 Facebook had embarked on the double path of information and banning fake news on vaccines and Coronavirus.
But a more drastic measure was adopted last December, when several “unsubstantiated” theories on Covid were removed (including the one according to which the virus would be no more harmful than a normal seasonal flu). At the same time, information and updates on the global pandemic situation had increased.
With this very recent and further tightening, the hope is that we will arrive as soon as possible to substantially stem a phenomenon as widespread as it is dangerous.. In a climate of global concern like the one we have been experiencing for almost a year now, false information really risks taking hold on the most irrational part of us, fostering a climate of collective anxiety. And often inducing irrational behavior, as well as potentially harmful.