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Facebook to remove COVID-19 vaccine-related misinformation

Facebook to remove COVID-19 vaccine-related misinformation
Posted at 3:08 PM, Dec 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-04 15:07:59-05

Facebook says it will start removing false claims about COVID-19 vaccines, in its latest move to counter a tide of coronavirus-related online misinformation.

The social network said Thursday that it will take down any Facebook or Instagram posts with false information about the vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts.

The U.S. tech giant is taking action as the first COVID vaccines are set to be rolled out.

Facebook said it’s applying a policy to remove virus misinformation that could lead to “imminent physical harm.”

Posts that fall afoul of the policy could include phony claims about vaccine safety, efficacy, ingredients or side effects.

“For example, we will remove false claims that COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips, or anything else that isn’t on the official vaccine ingredient list,” Facebook wrote.

The company says it will also remove conspiracy theories about COVID-19 vaccines that are known to be untruthful, like the falsehood that alleges specific populations are being used without their consent to test the vaccine’s safety.

Facebook says it will not be able to start enforcing the new policies overnight.

“Since it’s early and facts about COVID-19 vaccines will continue to evolve, we will regularly update the claims we remove based on guidance from public health authorities as they learn more,” wrote the company.

Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering