Facebook this week announced their plans to censor anything they deem to be "false claims" about the COVID-19 vaccines on both Facebook and Instagram, including any that "discourage people from getting vaccinated.”
The company stated on their “About Facebook” website:
“Today, 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. Since December, we’ve removed false claims about COVID-19 vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts. Today, following consultations with leading health organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), we are expanding the list of false claims we will remove to include additional debunked claims about the coronavirus and vaccines.”
The social media giant explained that posts with the following "false claims" will be censored:
- 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 continued to say that users, pages and groups that regularly continue to post such misinformation may be banned permanently. Certain groups with members who post such misinformation will need to have all posts approved by the group’s administrators.
The company also stated their resolve to promote accurate information on their search engines.
“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.”
The full list of misinformation that will be censored is here.