Facebook May Be Removing Anti-Vaxxer Content Amid Backlash

The spread of misinformation on Facebook keeps growing.

According to a recent article by The New York Times, one of the most powerful weapons agents from Russia used to reshape American politics were feelings and misinformation that real Americans were already posting about on social media.
Facebook Newsfeed is a gold mine for partisan media. (Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Facebook said it might remove or reduce false information being spread which involves anti-vaccination rhetoric including sponsored ads specifically targeting pregnant women from states experiencing surges in measles outbreaks.

According to Business Insider, the social network said it could also decide to demote anti-vaxxer content from Facebook search results.

“We are committed to accurate and useful information throughout Facebook,” a company spokesperson told Business Insider. “We remove content that violates our Community Standards, down-rank articles that might be misleading, and show third-party fact-checker articles to provide people with more context. We have more to do, and will continue efforts to provide educational information on important topics like health.”

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

California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff has called on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as well as Google CEO Sundar Pichai to take action on the spike of misinformation being shared on their platforms.

“The algorithms which power these services are not designed to distinguish quality information from misinformation or misleading information, and the consequences of that are particularly troubling for public health issues,” Schiff said.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.