Facebook is working to tackle vaccine misinformation by reducing its distribution and providing people with "authoritative" information on the topic.
The company will reduce the ranking of groups and Pages that spread misinformation about vaccinations in News Feed and Search. These groups and Pages will not be included in recommendations or in predictions when you type into Search.
When Facebook finds ads that include misinformation about vaccinations, the comapny will reject them. Facebook also removed related targeting options, like “vaccine controversies.”
The social network will also not show or recommend content that contains misinformation about vaccinations on Instagram Explore or hashtag pages.
Leading global health organizations, such as the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have publicly identified verifiable vaccine hoaxes. If these vaccine hoaxes appear on Facebook, the company will take action against them.
Facebook has been criticized for allowing its platform to amplify anti-vaccine views, fueling a public health crisis.
Last month, U.S. Representative Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, sent a letter to Facebook and Google, asking them to address the problem because their inaction may have contributed to recent outbreaks of measles in the country. Google’s YouTube turned off the ability for anti-vaccination videos to make money from their ads. Pinterest banned the content altogether.
Facebook said it is also thinking about promoting information from expert organizations about vaccines at the top of results for related searches.