Facebook removes anti-vaccine ‘fake news’ in Israel, government says


Facebook has taken down content which distribute lies in Israel from coronavirus vaccinations since the government attempts to drum up support to the programme, the Justice Ministry said on Sunday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday became the first individual to be vaccinated in Israel. Opinion polls reveal some two-thirds of the public want to follow suit.

The Justice Ministry reported that, at its request, Facebook took down four classes in the weekend which had disseminated texts, photographs and videos with “deliberately mendacious content designed to mislead about coronavirus vaccines”.

Such “fake news” included arguments which vaccines could be used to plant government monitoring chips in receivers’ bodies, to poison them and thus cull the population or to subject them to medical experimentation, the ministry said in a statement.

Israeli officials say the nation has enough vaccines on order by year’s end to protect the most exposed 20% of the population and then lift some coronavirus curbs, but fear that turnout may be dampened if individuals get false info about the inoculations.

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Israel began administering vaccines to medical staff on Sunday. In Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, dozens of physicians and nurses danced as they ready to receive their injections.

Next in line are elderly Israelis or those in high-risk classes. The wider adult population is slated to get shots in early 2021.

With a population of 9 million, Israel has logged 373,368 coronavirus cases and 3,074 deaths. It has imposed two national lockdowns and is mulling new curbs on high-contagion places.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Dan Williams. Editing by Frances Kerry.

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