Facebook Bans Fake Covid-19 Vaccine Claims

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Conspiracy clampdown. Social networking giant Facebook follows YouTube lead in banning false and misleading claims about Covid-19 vaccines

Facebook has announced it would remove false claims about Coronavirus that have been proven to be false by medical experts.

The social networking giant announced that it wanted to keep people safe and informed about Covid-19, and part of that is removing false claims about Coronavirus vaccines.

Facebook’s move comes after YouTube in October announced it would ban misleading content relating to vaccines, after it had already banned ‘medically unsubstantiated’ claims relating to Covid-19 on its platform.

coronavirus Image credit: World Health Organisation
Image credit: World Health Organisation

Conspiracy theories

Facebook said it was making the move in light of the recent news about the vaccines availability.

On Wednesday the UK became the first country to officially approve a Covid-19 vaccine when it gave the green light to the German Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

“Given the recent news that Covid-19 vaccines will soon be rolling out around the world, over the coming weeks we will start removing false claims about these vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts on Facebook and Instagram,” Facebook announced.

“This is another way that we are applying our policy to remove misinformation about the virus that could lead to imminent physical harm,” it added. “This could include false claims about the safety, efficacy, ingredients or side effects of the vaccines.”

Facebook cited the example of removing false claims that Covid-19 vaccines contain microchips, or anything else that isn’t on the official vaccine ingredient list.

“We will also remove conspiracy theories about Covid-19 vaccines that we know today are false: like specific populations are being used without their consent to test the vaccine’s safety,” it said. “We will not be able to start enforcing these policies overnight. Since it’s early and facts about Covid-19 vaccines will continue to evolve, we will regularly update the claims we remove based on guidance from public health authorities as they learn more.”

Facebook also said it would continue to help people stay informed about these vaccines by promoting authoritative sources of information through its Covid-19 Information Center.

Pfizer and Moderna have asked US regulators for emergency use authorisation of their vaccine candidates.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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