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Facebook is further clamping down on anti-vaccine — or “anti-vaxx” — content.
From now on it will ban any ads that “discourage people from getting a vaccine,” the social media giant announced in a blog post Tuesday:
“Our goal is to help messages about the safety and efficacy of vaccines reach a broad group of people, while prohibiting ads with misinformation that could harm public health efforts,” Facebook said.
Facebook began clamping down on anti-vaxx content last year, applying fact-check labels to posts and blocking vaccine misinformation from being promoted or advertised. This new policy takes a broader approach, as it doesn’t require the platform to make a judgement call on whether an ad contains misinformation.
Political ads appear to be exempt, however.
“Ads that advocate for or against legislation or government policies around vaccines — including a COVID-19 vaccine — are still allowed,” Facebook said.
These ads, like all political ads on Facebook, will carry a label showing who paid for them, and need to be approved by the company as political ads.
“We regularly refine our approach around ads that are about social issues to capture debates and discussions around sensitive topics happening on Facebook. Vaccines are no different. While we may narrow enforcement in some areas, we may expand it in others,” it added.
Alongside the new policy, Facebook announced it’s launching a flu vaccine information campaign, similar to its recently launched voting information center, which will tell users how they can get a flu shot.
The pandemic has seen a surge of engagement with anti-vaxx posts per an analysis done by the Guardian newspaper last month.
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Source:: Businessinsider – Tech