Facebook to prohibit ads that discourage vaccines

Facebook to prohibit ads that discourage vaccines

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Facebook has said it will start prohibiting Ads that discourage vaccines and will also remove false claims about COVID-19 vaccines.

By Nabeela Khan

Facebook is strengthening its policies against harmful content to combat the rising tide of health-related mis-and disinformation.“The new policy could include false claims about the safety, efficacy, ingredients or side effects of the vaccines,” reads the Facebook statement. For example, Facebook will remove false claims that COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips or anything else that isn’t on the official vaccine ingredient list.

Facebook said that it 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.  The company has updated its policies on December 3rd, 2020 highlighting, “Facebook is supporting the global public health community’s work to keep people safe and informed during the coronavirus public health crisis.”

Here are some of the latest policy updates which aim to ensure everyone has access to accurate information.

Access to accurate information:
Facebook says it wants to ensure everyone has access to accurate information while removing harmful content. This initiative will invest $100 million in fact-checking efforts supporting the news industry.

It also prohibits exploitative tactics in ads and banning ads for medical face masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and COVID-19 test kits.

Support economic relief efforts:
It will invest $100 million in small businesses to make it easier for people to support their local businesses. Matching $20 million in donations to support COVID-19 relief efforts and donating $25 million to support healthcare workers on the front line. Facebook further expands its support of global health organizations with free ads and empowering partners with data and tools.

Keeping everyone connected:
It aims to help local governments and emergency health organisations reach people on Facebook and Messenger, and collaborate using Workplace for free. Facebook also aims to share well-being tips and resources and donating $2 million to support mental health crisis helplines.