Health Care

Facebook Might Remove Anti-Vaccine Recommendations

Facebook Might Remove Anti-Vaccine Recommendations”

But people opposed to vaccines have used the social network to spread misinformation in groups where members have to be approved, making it hard for Facebook to police this content, according to The Guardian.

As the US sees a rise in measles cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the the number of children not being protected against vaccine-preventable diseases is on the rise.

The potential avenues it might take are "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".

With five measles outbreaks ongoing in the U.S., lawmakers are questioning both health officials and tech giants on their efforts to combat the noxious anti-vaccine misinformation fueling the spread of disease. The study found less than half were "highly credible". Vaccinations ranked among the three most popular story topics.

Mark Zuckerberg with Facebook employees. But this doesn't work in the social network's groups, where the bulk of anti-vaccination material is spread.

As of right now, a simple Facebook search shows groups like Rage Against the Vaccine and The Truth About Vaccines (both spreading false information about vaccines) have over 40,000 members.

This year the WHO listed anti-vaxxers as one of the top 10 threats facing the world in 2019.

More news: Trump Says Japan’s Abe Nominated Him for Nobel Peace Prize

Facebook declined to comment on the ad targeting categories, but said it was looking into the issue, The Guardian reported.

In his letter to Zuckerberg, Schiff asked how the company plans to reconcile the fact that frightened and confused parents may be making decisions based on misinformation about vaccinations on its platform, making the population at large more vulnerable to a deadly disease.

"As a Member of Congress who is deeply concerned about declining vaccination rates, I am requesting additional information on the steps that you now take to provide medically accurate information on vaccinations to your users, and to encourage you to consider additional steps you can take to address this growing problem", Rep. Schiff wrote in the letter.

Google's YouTube has already begun changing algorithms to try to control the spread of misinformation.

Facebook has enabled advertisers to promote anti-vaccine content to almost nine lakh people interested in "vaccine controversies", the media reported.

After hearing the decision of Facebook and its management, anti-vaccination activists protested and many social media users who are against the idea said that "it takes away our freedom of speech and self-expression".



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