Facebook Is Banning Anti-Vaccination Ads To Clamp Down On Misinformation
Facebook has announced it will be banning all advertisements from anti-vaccination groups.
The social media company says it was inspired from the coronavirus pandemic to ensure people weren't receiving misinformation when it comes to live-saving injections.
Facebook said in an update this week: "Our goal is to help messages about the safety and efficacy of vaccines reach a broad group of people, while prohibiting ads with misinformation that could harm public health efforts.
"We already don't allow ads with vaccine hoaxes that have been publicly identified by leading global health organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"Now, if an ad explicitly discourages someone from getting a vaccine, we'll reject it. Enforcement will begin over the next few days."
However, the company also stated that adverts which 'advocate for or against legislation or government policies around vaccines' (including for Covid-19) will still be allowed.
The ads will have a 'Paid for by' label, so that users will be able to see who has paid for the ad space.
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Facebook will be launching a flu vaccine information campaign as many people in the Northern Hemisphere head into winter and will need the seasonal jab.
The company will also be working with global partners to help drum up support for people getting vaccinated before the flu season takes hold.
The decision to ban anti-vaxx ads has won the support and praise from The World Health Organization.
Aleksandra Kuzmanovic, Social Media Manager at the WHO, said in a statement: "Access to reliable information is important to ensure uptake of safe and effective vaccines. We welcome Facebook's update of its vaccine ad policies to prohibit ads that discourage people from getting vaccinated."
The social media site says more updates could be on the way, adding: "We regularly refine our approach around ads that are about social issues to capture debates and discussions around sensitive topics happening on Facebook. Vaccines are no different.
"While we may narrow enforcement in some areas, we may expand it in others."
Facebook recently announced it would be banning all content related to Holocaust denialism. People who search for those types of posts or groups will now be redirected to reputable and authorised pages that will provide information about what happened.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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