Facebook and Instagram to remove fake news about vaccines from COVID-19

The progress of some countries towards vaccination campaigns against COVID-19 has led Facebook to announce actions that will be taken on fake news related to the topic. The company said that in the coming weeks, it will begin to remove posts with false vaccine allegations. The measure also applies to Instagram.

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Facebook and Instagram on mobile (Image: Tecnoblog)

In a statement, Facebook said the decision to remove fake news about the new coronavirus is part of its policy to prevent misinformation that could cause physical harm to users. With the announcement, the company promises to exclude false claims about the safety, efficacy, components and side effects of vaccines.

This includes false accusations that vaccines would be used to implant microchips in the population or that they would have components that are not officially listed. The posts will also be removed if they promote conspiracy theories known to be false like that of people who would be used without their consent for testing the effectiveness of vaccines.

Facebook also said that, even after implementing the measures, it will receive guidance from public health officials to continue updating the list of statements that will be removed as new facts about COVID-19 are discovered.

Facebook fights fake news with Google and Twitter

This is not Facebook’s first position to fight fake news about vaccines. In November, the company merged with Google and Twitter, as well as fact-checking agencies and government agencies, in an initiative to combat misinformation related to this issue.

Organized by Full Fact, an entity that acts against false information, the action aims to anticipate a wave of fake news amid the advancement of the development of vaccines against the new coronavirus. Facebook already prohibits advertisements with anti-vaccine speech and YouTube displays notices with facts about vaccines from COVID-19.

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