“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,” reads the company’s statement.
Facebook offered up examples of the type of content that would be prohibited under this policy update, such as the false claim that coronavirus vaccines contain a microchip.
The social networking giant, coronavirus misinformation was being increasingly spreadon its platform, took action and banned COVID-19 falsehoods that could result in harm early this year. Remember when people were drinking bleach in an attempt to fight off COVID-19?
Before Thursday, there was no specific policy position on coronavirus vaccine misinformation. Facebook says this new policy specifically targeting vaccine conspiracy theories will begin rolling out soon.
Facebook has taken action against anti-vaccination rhetoric before. The company ads meant to discourage vaccinations just last month. It also on anti-vaccine hashtags over on Instagram last year in an attempt to curb their reach and spread. However, the abundance of coronavirus vaccine misinformation makes it clear that more needs to be done.
And when it comes to coronavirus vaccines, specifically, Facebook is playing catchup with one of its competitors. In October, YouTube a new policy that would prohibit misinformation about coronavirus vaccines on the platform.
However, Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms can do one better. It seems completely reasonable that all anti-vaccine misinformation — not just related to COVID-19 — should be prohibited.
For now, Facebook will just take on coronavirus vaccine falsehoods — something the company couldn’t even control when they were running rampant on its own CEO’s livestream.