There’s no denying that Facebook as a platform is a major carrier of false claims and news. The company has been devoting resources to reduce, and even eradicate, fake news as well as claims. Facebook’s latest attempts at eradicating false claims is related to COVID-19 and all the rumors surrounding the global pandemic. All such fake claims will be taken down from both Facebook as well as Instagram. Also Read - BARS from Facebook is TikTok for rappers: Here’s what you need to know
While the company has been preventing the spread of misinformation related to the pandemic, the latest attempt includes some of the common misconceptions related to COVID-19 and its vaccines. The updated list of false claims now includes all claims related to COVID-19 vaccine not working, or causing issues, and all posts attempting to sell COVID-19 protection gear. You can check out the updated list here. Also Read - Google and Facebook will now have to pay news publications for content as per new Australian News Media law
Facebook to tackle false COVID-19 claims
“We’re working to remove content that contributes to the risk of real-world harm, including through our policies prohibiting coordination of harm, sale of medical masks and related goods, hate speech, bullying and harassment, and misinformation that contributes to the risk of imminent violence or physical harm, the details of which we’ve outlined below,” said Facebook in the blog post. Also Read - Want to know who is stalking you on Facebook? These simple hacks can help you
The company is also working on optimizing the Search function on both Facebook and Instagram. “Finally, we are continuing to improve Search results on our platforms. When people search for vaccine or COVID-19 related content on Facebook, we promote relevant, authoritative results and provide third-party resources to connect people to expert information about vaccines. On Instagram, in addition to surfacing authoritative results in Search, in the coming weeks we’re making it harder to find accounts in search that discourage people from getting vaccinated,” says Facebook.
Concerning the vaccine rollout, Facebook will consider the following kinds of content for ban:
- COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured
- Vaccines are not effective at preventing the disease they are meant to protect against
- It’s safer to get the disease than to get the vaccine
- Vaccines are toxic, dangerous, or cause autism
Facebook will implement the updated guidelines with immediate effect. The company will be keeping an eye on groups, pages and individual accounts for all such content. If necessary, Facebook will go ahead and remove such posts that violate the new guidelines. If a particular account, page or group keeps on repeating the violations, then they may face account termination from the platform.
Users will get a chance to make Facebook review their content regarding their claims on COVID-19 and related vaccines. Additionally, any content related to the pandemic will be labeled as well as demoted if third-party fact-checking authorities label them as false.