Vaccine misinformation has been a ubiquitous problem on Facebook for years, and it wasn’t until earlier this year that the website finally introduced policies to address the problem. Now the social network has expanded those policies and its efforts to vaccinate against COVID-19 to include children shortly after the FDA approved the emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19 for children ages five to eleven.
In the coming weeks, users in the U.S. will be sent reminders in English and Spanish that the COVID-19 vaccine is now available to children. These reminders will also include a link to help users find the nearest vaccination site. Perhaps more importantly, it will expand its vaccine disinformation policy to remove claims that COVID-19 vaccines for children do not exist and that the vaccine for children has not been tested. It will also remove any claim that COVID-19 vaccines can kill or seriously harm children, that they are not effective at all for children, and that anything other than COVID-19 vaccines can inoculate children against the virus.
Facebook says its fight against vaccine misinformation is part of an ongoing effort in partnership with the CDC, WHO and other health authorities. He promises to continue to update his policies and ban any new claims about the COVID-19 vaccine for children that will appear in the future. The website, which now operates under its parent company Meta, says it has removed more than 20 million pieces of content from Facebook and Instagram since the pandemic began. As of August 2021, it has also banned 3,000 accounts, groups and sites for persistent violations of health misinformation policies.
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