Facebook will begin banning ads that explicitly dissuade people from getting vaccinated, the social media titan has stated, as it also announced a new flu vaccine information effort.
Ads advocating for or against legislation or government policies about sexes, such as a COVID-19 vaccine, may nevertheless be permitted, the company said in a blog post. It will begin to apply the new global policy in the upcoming few days.
Facebook, with 2.7 billion monthly active users, has been under pressure from lawmakers and public health groups to crack down on anti-vaccine misinformation and content about its own platform. The business stated that although a COVID-19 vaccine wouldn’t be available for a while, the pandemic had highlighted the importance of preventative health behaviours.
Facebook’s previous rules prohibited ads containing vaccine misinformation or hoaxes identified by major medical organizations, but let advertisements opposing vaccines if they did not contain false promises.
This summer, Facebook Public Policy Manager Jason Hirsch told journalists at our partner news agency Reuters the company believed users should have the ability to express personal anti-vaccine perspectives and that more aggressive censorship could induce people hesitant about offenses towards the anti-vaccine camp.
Facebook will also begin directing US users this week to advice about the flu vaccine and also how to receive it, according to the organization’s Head of Health Kang-Xing Jin and Director of Product Management Rob Leathern in the blog article.
Anti-vaccine misinformation and content about the new COVID-19 vaccines have flourished on social media platforms including Facebook throughout the coronavirus pandemic, researchers told Reuters earlier this season.