Facebook has announced that it is stepping up its efforts in dealing with misinformation around COVID-19 vaccines on its platforms, including Instagram.
The social media giant has over the last few months been stamping out misinformation around COVID and on Monday, it announced that it will be expanding its list of what is considered misleading content.
The company says that it will now fully focus on the COVID-19 vaccines, making it clear that it will remove any posts that suggest the vaccines are dangerous or toxic. In addition to this, the social media company also notes that any posts that claim the vaccine can cause autism or infertility will also be removed.
There have been a lot of outrageous claims spreading on social media regarding the new COVID-19 vaccines. We have seen posts claiming that the vaccines will make people infertile and others that claim the vaccines turn people into monkeys. This is not true and as such, Facebook feels it must take action to prevent the spread of such absurd ideas through its platform.
Over the past year, Facebook has updated its COVID-19 misinformation prevention strategy several times. First, the company noted that it will reduce the visibility of any false claims associated with the coronavirus.
This was to be done by putting warning labels on posts it suspected had false information. In just a single month after launching the program, Facebook had put labels on over 50 million pieces of content. However, the social media giant felt that indeed that was not nearly enough.
As a result, Facebook stepped up its efforts, saying that will entirely remove any post that is considered to be misleading about COVID. Ever since the company has managed to take down over 12 million pieces of content. It seems though that Facebook is now extending its efforts on info regarding COVID-19 vaccines.
The company has also said that it is giving out $120 million worth of ad credits to health groups trying to raise awareness on the COVID-19 vaccines around the world. The social media giant has also confirmed that it is going to launch several tools on its platforms that help users determine when to get vaccinated.
This is the first time that Facebook is making a real effort to curb misinformation on its platforms. For the past three years or so, the company was the subject of criticism among lawmakers for doing very little to stop disinformation campaigns during the 2016 election.
Facebook did, however, promise to do better and it seems that it is doing quite a commendable job with the coronavirus. The company joins other social media platforms including Twitter that have also stepped up efforts to remove misinformation from their sites.
Twitter, in particular, took this to a whole new level after it banned former US president Donald Trump permanently from its platform for violating its community guidelines. Trump was largely accused of spreading false election fraud claims through Twitter.