Facebook to remove posts making false claims about COVID-19 vaccines

The social media platform is promising to provide accurate education and data on the vaccines and where people can get access to them

Facebook is trying to stop the spread of misinformation about COVID-19 and the vaccine on its platform.

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The tech giant announced on Monday that it will stop the spread of misinformation by simply removing the posts. Facebook will go after unpaid posts as well as postings in groups and pages.

“Building trust and confidence in these vaccines are critical, so we’re launching the largest worldwide campaign to help public health organizations share accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines and encourage people to get vaccinated as vaccines become available to them,” Kang-Xing Jin, head of health at Facebook, wrote in a company blog post.

The company promises to provide education and data about where the public can gain access to the vaccines. They will also disperse $120M in ad credits to health companies to assist them in spreading the benefits of the vaccine.

Facebook says they are running the largest campaign in the world to spread authoritative information during the pandemic.

In the past, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was apprehensive about dismantling the spread of misinformation because he supported free speech even when it may be harmful. But the platform does have a policy in place that prohibits “immediate, direct physical harm,” per The New York Times

The company made a pivot after a third party that reviews its policies, the Facebook Oversight Board, ruled that its current standards were, “inappropriately vague.”

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Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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In the same blog post, Jin wrote:

“In addition to sharing reliable information, we are expanding our efforts to remove false claims on Facebook and Instagram about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines and vaccines in general during the pandemic,” per the post.

“Today, following consultations with leading health organizations, including the WHO, we’re expanding the list of false claims we will remove to include additional debunked claims about COVID-19 and vaccines. Learn more about how we’re combating COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation.”

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