Facebook announced on Thursday new policies to reduce the visibility of vaccine misinformation on its platform, including rejecting advertising and excluding groups and pages from search results that spread “vaccine hoaxes.”
The announcement comes after weeks of criticism from public health advocates and lawmakers who have called for action to curtail inaccurate information about vaccines, which have led to a resurgence of childhood diseases that had effectively been eradicated.
“We are fully committed to the safety of our community and will continue to expand on this work,” wrote Monika Bickert, Facebook’s vice president of global policy management, in a blog post announcing the change.
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The anti-vaccination community is united by the unscientific theory that vaccinations are toxic and cause myriad illnesses, including autism, and misguidedly believe a conspiracy helmed by the government and the pharmaceutical industry is keeping the truth about vaccines from the public.