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Facebook to combat anti-vaccination content, vaccine misinformation on its platform

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Facebook has moved to the forefront of combating anti-vaccination content and vaccine misinformation on its platform by not promoting ads or recommendations. The company also said that it will be downranking results which are related to anti-vaccination.

Representational image. Reuters

However, Facebook, will not be taking down the ads entirely said  Monika Bickert, Facebook’s vice president of global policy management in a blog post. It is planning to give the users more context about vaccines from expert organisations.

In a time when the popularity of the social media giant has taken a downward trajectory, the move to downrank anti-vaccination content is widely being appreciated.

Amazon and YouTube have also come under fire for allowing fake news regarding vaccines to be circulated on their platform.

Facebook said that it has removed targeting categories such as “vaccine controversies”.

Apart from that Facebook-owned Instagram will also have all ads which pertain to anti-vaccination downranked or removed. Facebook is also exploring options to share educational and informational content on vaccines.

In more recent news, Facebook Inc said on 7 March that it had removed 137 fake pages, groups and Instagram accounts in the United Kingdom and a further 31 in Romania for engaging in hate speech and making divisive comments.

Facebook, Twitter Inc and Alphabet Inc have been under pressure from regulators around the globe to fight the spread of misinformation aimed at destabilising elections by stoking hardline positions or supporting propaganda campaigns.

The push from Facebook also arrives right after multiple research papers published across journals and shared on social media platforms, discouraged polio vaccination.

Meanwhile, in order to sustain the polio eradication drive in India, President Ram Nath Kovind, on behalf of the government the Pulse Polio programme for 2019. The President kickstarted the three-day pulse polio immunisation drive (IPPI), where vaccinations will be administered to children under five years of age across the nation.

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