Facebook will downrank anti-vax content on News Feed and hide it on Instagram

From TechCrunch: After indicating that it was exploring its options for fighting the potentially deadly rise of anti-vaccination content on its platform last month, Facebook is making a plan of attack.

Facebook’s strategy in the effort is to both minimize the spread of vaccination misinformation and to point users away from inaccurate anti-vaccination propaganda and toward “authoritative information,” i.e. info corroborated by the health and scientific establishment.

To achieve a reduction in the spread of anti-vax propaganda, Facebook will downrank groups and pages that spread this kind of content across both News Feed and its search function. Facebook will also reject ads promoting anti-vaccination misinformation. Repeat offenders attempting to promote this content through ads may see their accounts disabled. On Instagram, Facebook “won’t show or recommend content that contains misinformation about vaccinations on Instagram Explore or hashtag pages,” effectively burying that content from public-facing spaces. Facebook noted that it would also remove anti-vax adjacent ad targeting descriptors including the term “vaccine controversies.”

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