Following Pinterest's move, Facebook has also adopted a new initiative to combat misinformation about vaccines on its platform. Now, whenever users search for vaccine-related content, Facebook will display a window that prompts them to query information from trusted sources.
In the United States, the notice will direct people to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. Elsewhere in the world, similar notices will lead users to the World Health Organization (WHO).
After Facebook, Instagram will also apply this policy.
Facebook applies a new feature that helps users avoid "exposure" to anti-vaccine information
Facebook: The largest anti-vaccine drive on the internet
The anti-vaccine movement is going from sporadic spontaneity to professionalization. And the front that those "anti-vax" The main choice is Facebook. A study in the UK shows that one in every two parents with young children will ".exposure"with anti-vaccine information on social networks.
More worrying, it seems not accidental that that happened.
In the US, the Daily Beast has done a survey showing at least 150 Facebook ads with anti-vaccine content purchased within a month. They are usually set up to target women over the age of 25. This is a group of people most likely having children.
Some ads are selected for group selection "Interested in pregnancy"which means that someone is intentionally expecting prospective mothers to read anti-vaccine information. According to the Daily Beast these ads have been viewed at least 1.6 million times.
Last March, Alexis Madrigal, a Atlantic health editor, did a similar survey to see Facebook becoming an outbreak.anti-vax" how.
He used the web monitoring tool CrowdTangle to analyze the most popular Facebook posts, containing the phrase "vaccine"From 2016 to 2019.
The results show that most of them come from a very small number of personal pages and fanpage. Up to 46% of the 10,000 vaccine posts are sourced from the top 50 Facebook pages. And only 7 of them produced up to 20% of the anti-vaccination content in the 10,000 most easily found articles.
In the US, at least 150 Facebook ads with anti-vaccine content are purchased every month.
Social networking platforms need to be responsible
Since March 2019, the American Medical Association (AMA) has asked major technology and social media companies, including Amazon, Facebook and Google, to join the anti-vaccination movement and the Spread misinformation about vaccinations on their platform.
AMA is the largest network of doctors in the United States, with an extremely large number of medical and health science professionals. They sent a letter to the CEOs of Amazon, Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube, expressing concern about anti-vaccination messages and advertising aimed at parents of children.
The American Medical Association emphasizes this is especially troublesome at a time when diseases can be prevented with vaccines, such as measles coming back to attack the United States, posing a threat to public health. copper.
Misinformation related to health found online, especially social networks, can undermine the science that makes parents decide not to vaccinate their children, the Medical Association. United States said. This is the source of disease that could have been prevented.
"Public health is an urgent topic as social media becomes the leading source of information for Americans, and we recommend that you do your part to ensure that users have the right to access to valuable scientific information on immunizations, so they can make informed decisions about their family's health", AMA CEO, Dr. James Madara writes in the letter.
Of the three major social media platforms, Facebook is also the last to start directing users to more reliable information about vaccines.
In response, Facebook said it has stepped up efforts to curb the spread of misinformation about vaccines on its platform, including Facebook and Instagram.
Monika Bickert, Facebook's vice president of global policy management, said the social network would no longer allow advertisements or propose anti-vaccine messages, and they would intervene to make the information less popular. turn on more in search results.
The new information-driven initiative was launched and applied as the number of measles cases in the United States has increased to more than 1,200 cases since the beginning of the year, an unprecedented record since 1992.
It was the consequence of the anti-vaccination movement that made preventable infectious diseases return to attack the United States. Social networks, groups, and articles, false content about vaccines are partly responsible for this.
Now, with windows hinting at the official source of information on vaccines, Facebook has shown its responsibility to stop the dangerous anti-vax wave on its platform.
But it seems that it is still not thorough. Windows that appear do not completely prevent people from viewing anti-vaccine content. A screenshot that Facbook shared with CNN shows that, at least on Instagram, individuals still have the option to continue viewing the content other users have posted using the vaccine-related hashtag.
This is different from Pinterest's recently published approach, in that the company said it will only display information from trusted sources like WHO. Also, unlike Pinterest, it seems that Facebook has not worked with CDC and WHO to create reliable, live content on its platform.
Of the three major social media platforms, Facebook is also the last to start directing users to more reliable information about vaccines. Earlier, Twitter had similar moves.