Facebook and Instagram crack down on anti-vaccine content

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Facebook isn’t removing anti-vaccination content completely. The company is reducing the rankings of groups and Pages “that spread misinformation about vaccinations,” which means they won’t show up as much in the news feed and search results. Moreover, they won’t be included in recommendations or predictions when typing in the search bar.

Additionally, ads that include misinformation about vaccines will no longer be allowed on the service, and targeted advertising options such as “vaccine controversies” are being removed. Any ad accounts that continue to ignore the new rules may be terminated.

Facebook-owned Instagram is also receiving some changes over the coming weeks. The photo- and video-sharing service will no longer show anti-vaxxer content on Instagram Explore or hashtag pages.

As well as clamping down on this misinformation, Facebook is exploring ways to share educational data on vaccines when people come across anti-vaxxer content.

It’s important to note that Facebook isn’t hiding or deleting individual anti-vaccination posts; it is only targeting groups, Pages, and ads.

To separate fact from fiction, Facebook is using information from the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The organizations have identified vaccine hoaxes in the past, and Facebook will take action against any that appear on the platform.

Last month, YouTube channels promoting anti-vaccination, alternative and holistic medicine, or other forms of pseudoscience were demonetized and prevented from running ads.

Image credit: pixelaway via Shutterstock

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Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
While I applaud this - people really need to understand that not getting vaccinated doesn't just affect them, but everyone around them - I don't get why Facebook (and other companies) don't extend this to ANY groups that spread misinformation, period!

Spreading known lies - whether about vaccines, guns, drugs, sex, education, etc should be forbidden. I'm not talking about opinions - ads for or against abortion, for example, is a completely different issue - but if people are posting "information" that is incontrovertibly false, then it should be forcibly removed.
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
While I applaud this - people really need to understand that not getting vaccinated doesn't just affect them, but everyone around them - I don't get why Facebook (and other companies) don't extend this to ANY groups that spread misinformation, period!

Spreading known lies - whether about vaccines, guns, drugs, sex, education, etc should be forbidden. I'm not talking about opinions - ads for or against abortion, for example, is a completely different issue - but if people are posting "information" that is incontrovertibly false, then it should be forcibly removed.
If you are vaccinated, how does it affect you?

Look up the statistics on the recent measles outbreaks in the US, and you will find that it is confined to those who were not vaccinated. If you look at how many were affected compared to the overall population, it is probably in the range, statistically speaking, of the number of cases of people who are likely to have an adverse reaction to the vaccine.

IMO, there is a lot of FUD being spread about this that results in outright paranoia that is completely unwarranted. I suggest that people think rather than be part of the herd mentality - which is what people going nuts about those choosing not to be vaccinated reminds me of.

For the record, I am not anti-vax. I am for understanding the effects of these vaccines on humans, and if there is a known tendency to adverse reactions to vaccines, not getting vaccinated.

Vaccines are not, by any means, risk free. For those who are known to be adversely affected, the risks can be substantially worse than the risks of not being vaccinated. With the flu vaccine, I am one of those people. The last time I had it, I went into shock. I will never again get it because someone else thinks they know what is best for me. Right, I should risk shock and perhaps death because people do not know how to take care of themselves, and when they are sick, they knowingly do things that can spread it to others.

IMO, being healthy starts with eating well and taking care of yourself. Many people would do better if they avoid highly processed foods and anything that is primarily chemicals or sugar. In fact, there is significant research out that that agrees with what I just said. I've been doing that for years, and, IMO, the rest of the world is just catching up to what I have been doing.
 
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trparky

TS Evangelist
Look up the statistics on the recent measles outbreaks in the US, and you will find that it is confined to those who were not vaccinated.
It's obvious that you don't remember some of your high school health classes or you'd know that once you let a disease have a foothold in the populace you give it a chance to mutate and thus make previous vaccines ineffective.

Vaccines are not, by any means, risk free. For those who are known to be adversely affected, the risks can be substantially worse than the risks of not being vaccinated.
Yes, as with everything in life there's risks. Better to be vaccinated against say... Polio than to risk getting full blown Polio and be forced to live out the rest of your life in a wheelchair.

With the flu vaccine, I am one of those people. The last time I had it, I went into shock.
That sucks. You may very well be allergic to a specific compound in the vaccine, that's why medical professionals ask if you're allergic to some things before they give you the shot but of course that's not ever going to be completely fool proof and without risk.
 

mgwerner

TS Booster
While I applaud this - people really need to understand that not getting vaccinated doesn't just affect them, but everyone around them - I don't get why Facebook (and other companies) don't extend this to ANY groups that spread misinformation, period!

Spreading known lies - whether about vaccines, guns, drugs, sex, education, etc should be forbidden. I'm not talking about opinions - ads for or against abortion, for example, is a completely different issue - but if people are posting "information" that is incontrovertibly false, then it should be forcibly removed.
If you are vaccinated, how does it affect you?

Look up the statistics on the recent measles outbreaks in the US, and you will find that it is confined to those who were not vaccinated. If you look at how many were affected compared to the overall population, it is probably in the range, statistically speaking, of the number of cases of people who are likely to have an adverse reaction to the vaccine.

IMO, there is a lot of FUD being spread about this that results in outright paranoia that is completely unwarranted. I suggest that people think rather than be part of the herd mentality - which is what people going nuts about those choosing not to be vaccinated reminds me of.

For the record, I am not anti-vax. I am for understanding the effects of these vaccines on humans, and if there is a known tendency to adverse reactions to vaccines, not getting vaccinated.

Vaccines are not, by any means, risk free. For those who are known to be adversely affected, the risks can be substantially worse than the risks of not being vaccinated. With the flu vaccine, I am one of those people. The last time I had it, I went into shock. I will never again get it because someone else thinks they know what is best for me. Right, I should risk shock and perhaps death because people do not know how to take care of themselves, and when they are sick, they knowingly do things that can spread it to others.

IMO, being healthy starts with eating well and taking care of yourself. Many people would do better if they avoid highly processed foods and anything that is primarily chemicals or sugar. In fact, there is significant research out that that agrees with what I just said. I've been doing that for years, and, IMO, the rest of the world is just catching up to what I have been doing.
It affects the rest of us by increasing health care costs, tying up treatment areas (E-room and Doc in a Box outlets) with presentably sick people, and is simply inconsiderate of society as a whole. Two centuries of data back up the efficacy of vaccination/inoculation, and the tripe spread around online is the result of dangerous ignorance. While you are correct in that sensible diet is a major factor in health, eating your fruits and veg do little to combat these types of diseases, which are virulent in the communicability.
 

Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
If you are vaccinated, how does it affect you?

Look up the statistics on the recent measles outbreaks in the US, and you will find that it is confined to those who were not vaccinated. If you look at how many were affected compared to the overall population, it is probably in the range, statistically speaking, of the number of cases of people who are likely to have an adverse reaction to the vaccine.

IMO, there is a lot of FUD being spread about this that results in outright paranoia that is completely unwarranted. I suggest that people think rather than be part of the herd mentality - which is what people going nuts about those choosing not to be vaccinated reminds me of.

For the record, I am not anti-vax. I am for understanding the effects of these vaccines on humans, and if there is a known tendency to adverse reactions to vaccines, not getting vaccinated.

Vaccines are not, by any means, risk free. For those who are known to be adversely affected, the risks can be substantially worse than the risks of not being vaccinated. With the flu vaccine, I am one of those people. The last time I had it, I went into shock. I will never again get it because someone else thinks they know what is best for me. Right, I should risk shock and perhaps death because people do not know how to take care of themselves, and when they are sick, they knowingly do things that can spread it to others.

IMO, being healthy starts with eating well and taking care of yourself. Many people would do better if they avoid highly processed foods and anything that is primarily chemicals or sugar. In fact, there is significant research out that that agrees with what I just said. I've been doing that for years, and, IMO, the rest of the world is just catching up to what I have been doing.
And THIS type of misinformation is what perpetuates outbreaks!!

The measles vaccine is only about 97% effective! I know this seems pretty great, but remember, in a city of a million people, that means 30,000 people are still at risk!

Now, if EVERYONE got vaccinated, this would be reduced to virtually zero, as your chances of encountering another person at risk AND who had been exposed to the disease would be pretty small...

BUT.... if there are people who do NOT vaccinate - these people are now increasing that unlucky 3%'s chance of catching the disease!!

So... PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE vaccinate!!! Don't spread misinformation that fools will believe and then choose not to vaccinate! For the safety of everyone, it is imperative that as many people vaccinate as possible.
 

psycros

TS Evangelist
I can't even fathom the brain damage of someone who thinks the government and huge corporations should control all access to information. This is literally how freedom dies and if any of these people had studied history they would know that. I wonder if these budding fascists are aware that many natural remedies which have been successfully used for thousand of years are also on Big Pharma's blacklist. Everything going on related to the vaccine situation is a smokescreen. The anti-vaxx "movement" is minuscule and the drug companies are silent about it. Its the best distraction they could hope for and makes people forget about the dangerous drugs they've lied about in order to push them to market. Its also turned the flu "vaccine" into some kind of holy sacrament rather than the placebo that the medical industry and the CDC admit it is.
 

Lew Zealand

TS Evangelist
Look up the statistics on the recent measles outbreaks in the US, and you will find that it is confined to those who were not vaccinated.
Most if not all vaccines depend on herd immunity. This means that the vast majority of people need to be vaccinated (I usually see 85-90% mentioned) to minimize the risks to any individual and prevent the spread of a disease throughout the population. Outbreaks can spread to some vaccinated people if they are exposed to a disease from the unvaccinated, as some people have better or worse quality protection from the vax.
 

mbrowne5061

TS Evangelist
If you are vaccinated, how does it affect you?

Look up the statistics on the recent measles outbreaks in the US, and you will find that it is confined to those who were not vaccinated.
Alright, I did look up the statistics.

2 confirmed cases of those who were vaccinated and still contracted the measles in Clark County, Washington. 7 cases of people whose vaccination status is unknown.

https://www.clark.wa.gov/public-health/measles-investigation


In King County Washington, there was one case, a male in his 50s. Though not stated one way or another on the site, the patient's age suggests that he was vaccinated at some point in his life (places his birth squarely in the 1960s, when vaccination was still done without question):

https://publichealthinsider.com/2019/01/23/measles-investigation-in-king-county/


Get vaccinated. It is 95% effective in any one individual, protects those around you, those who are vaccinated around you protect you, and if you still get infected, it helps to keep you alive through the course of the infection.
 
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Black Paper

TS Enthusiast
I can't even fathom the brain damage of someone who thinks the government and huge corporations should control all access to information.
Ad hominem fallacy
Hate to break it to you, but there is no mass public communication for information that isn't relying on governments and corporations; for information, we hold them accountable.

This is literally how freedom dies and if any of these people had studied history they would know that.
Black-or-White fallacy
Freedom dies in Darkness. Darkness is people spreading misinformation, spreading disease.

I wonder if these budding fascists are aware that many natural remedies which have been successfully used for thousand of years are also on Big Pharma's blacklist.
Begging the question & Appeal to nature fallacies
Have any examples of "big pharma's blacklist" or are you going to make things up?
Natural remedies for influenza virus? Name one.

Everything going on related to the vaccine situation is a smokescreen. The anti-vaxx "movement" is minuscule and the drug companies are silent about it. Its the best distraction they could hope for and makes people forget about the dangerous drugs they've lied about in order to push them to market.
Anecdotal fallacy
Where is your proof for these claims?

Its also turned the flu "vaccine" into some kind of holy sacrament rather than the placebo that the medical industry and the CDC admit it is.
Burden of proof fallacy
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm
 
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Cubi Dorf

TS Booster
More attacking on freedom of speeches by American corporate interests. Who didn’t predict this coming?
 

DaveBG

TS Maniac
In such cases where flat-earthers or anti-vaccine people are involved I just prefer to let the problem solve itself. After all they are the one not being vaccinated but in this case they might infect other people that are pro vaccines...
 

jpuroila

TS Booster
While I applaud this - people really need to understand that not getting vaccinated doesn't just affect them, but everyone around them - I don't get why Facebook (and other companies) don't extend this to ANY groups that spread misinformation, period!

Spreading known lies - whether about vaccines, guns, drugs, sex, education, etc should be forbidden. I'm not talking about opinions - ads for or against abortion, for example, is a completely different issue - but if people are posting "information" that is incontrovertibly false, then it should be forcibly removed.
I couldn't disagree more. While I think vaccines should be mandatory(exemptions for medical reasons ONLY), the moment you make categorical bans on speech like that is the moment you throw all accountability out of the window and open the gates for all kinds of abuse.
 

Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
I couldn't disagree more. While I think vaccines should be mandatory(exemptions for medical reasons ONLY), the moment you make categorical bans on speech like that is the moment you throw all accountability out of the window and open the gates for all kinds of abuse.
This is only for those spreading verifiably false information. You can be entitled to an opinion... but not entitled to spread lies - especially harmful ones.
 

That Dude There

TS Booster
Is it “misinformation” to inform people of what is printed on the CDC vaccine printouts...such info like the aborted baby parts they use? That is an abomination, but you are told it is healthy. This brainwashed society are like robots...chearing for poisons because they were told they are healthy. The truth is that the people getting sick are vaccinated, and non vaccined are WAYYYYY less sick...and if the do get sick, they kick it faster. There is a list of poison they also put in vaccines, but hey...go get you some.
 

Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
Is it “misinformation” to inform people of what is printed on the CDC vaccine printouts...such info like the aborted baby parts they use? That is an abomination, but you are told it is healthy. This brainwashed society are like robots...chearing for poisons because they were told they are healthy. The truth is that the people getting sick are vaccinated, and non vaccined are WAYYYYY less sick...and if the do get sick, they kick it faster. There is a list of poison they also put in vaccines, but hey...go get you some.
Care to provide any evidence for the complete BS you just posted?
 

jpuroila

TS Booster
This is only for those spreading verifiably false information. You can be entitled to an opinion... but not entitled to spread lies - especially harmful ones.
And who, exactly, gets to decide what's "verifiably false"? You can make up all the labels you want, but that still doesn't stop those in power from abusing them.
 

That Dude There

TS Booster
Care to provide any evidence for the complete BS you just posted?
Did you even read my post? The CDC vaccine printout says it all. Some of the ingredients are under hidden medical terms, so if you search each one, then it is proven. As far as the anecdotal proof of healthy people that are not vaccinated...the testimonials are out there. If you believe unproven lies that all these diseases are coming from anti vaccers, and won't even research it out...then you are simply brainwashed. No offense at all, just the truth.
 

That Dude There

TS Booster
There are no aborted baby parts there.... and honestly, even if there were, if it worked to make me mostly immune to a serious disease, I’d consider it....

https://www.immunizealberta.ca/sites/default/files/downloads/CommonQuestions_DoVaccinesContainAbortedFetalCells.pdf

Try that instead :)
There are always lies to contradict every truth. You just have to use common since...or maybe it is uncommon. You pick anything good out there that they say is bad. I don't care what it is. Raw milk...Distilled water...Whatever. There is an army of internet propoganda soldiers writing blogs, commenting on every video...telling you how distilled water, or raw milk will kill you. Don't you see the pattern?? There is an attack on health. Why are we the most obese unhealthy nation on earth? Believe what you want...I'm only trying to help.
 

Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
There are always lies to contradict every truth. You just have to use common since...or maybe it is uncommon. You pick anything good out there that they say is bad. I don't care what it is. Raw milk...Distilled water...Whatever. There is an army of internet propoganda soldiers writing blogs, commenting on every video...telling you how distilled water, or raw milk will kill you. Don't you see the pattern?? There is an attack on health. Why are we the most obese unhealthy nation on earth? Believe what you want...I'm only trying to help.
NONE of the ingredients in your link were aborted baby ingredients - if you think I’m mistaken, feel free to name the ingredients....

And distilled water will kill you the same way these vaccines will - ie: they won’t!!!!

You’re NOT helping, all you are doing is giving people an excuse not to vaccinate, endangering the rest of us!
 
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Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
And who, exactly, gets to decide what's "verifiably false"? You can make up all the labels you want, but that still doesn't stop those in power from abusing them.
I believe the concept speaks for itself - something is “verifiably false” when it can scientifically be proven to be false!! Duh!!

Much like the ignorant people spreading “verifiably false” information about vaccines!!

Let me guess, you’re one of those people who thinks they cause autism too?
 

Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
I haven’t posted a link, but here is the first I found right off the bat:
https://www.chop.edu/centers-programs/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-ingredients/fetal-tissues
Lol - try a real scientific site please... and that only says that the Shingles vaccine USED to be grown using fetal cells - there are no actual fetal cells IN the vaccine...

That’s like me saying “those carrots you are eating have manure in them” - because they are grown IN manure...

Stop spreading lies and misinformation please!!