Facebook said Monday that it would begin removing posts on its platform that spread misinformation about vaccines, including false claims that they cause autism, The New York Times reported. While the decision comes as the United States hopes to ramp up distribution of the coronavirus vaccine, this update is said to target all misinformation against vaccines in general, going beyond previous promises by the tech giant.
In the past. Facebook’s protocol on vaccine misinformation was to “downrank” it, or push it down in users’ news feeds, rather than remove it entirely, according to the paper. As The Daily Beast reported before the coronavirus pandemic, that policy sometimes ended up catching pro-vaccine ads. The move on Monday suggests incremental steps by the tech company in recent months toward reining in anti-vaxxer disinformation had fallen short.