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Facebook to ban anti-vaccine misinformation and ads

Staff Writer |
Facebook it will take measures to curb the spreading of misinformation about vaccinations on its platform.

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Facebook will also not allow any content containing anti-vaccine misinformation on Instagram Explore or hashtag pages, said vice president of global policy management Monika Bickert in a statement.

Advertisers will be blocked from running any ad pages containing misinformation about vaccinations, and violators will have their ad accounts disabled, Bickert added.

"We will reduce the ranking of groups and Pages that spread misinformation about vaccinations in News Feed and Search. These groups and Pages will not be included in recommendations or in predictions when you type into Search," she said.

Facebook pledged to explore ways to give people more accurate information from expert organizations about vaccines at the top of search results, on topic-discussing Pages, and on invitations to join topic-specific groups.

The decision came after Adam Schiff, a Democratic representative from California, wrote a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last month, expressing worries about information on the company's platform to discourage parents from vaccinating their children.

Schiff described such misinformation as "a direct threat to public health," which would reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases.

Some U.S. states, including Washington, are currently combating a measles outbreak, and Washington State Department of Health has reported 71 confirmed cases in two of its counties.

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