Facebook's crackdown on anti-vaxxers won't just punish groups that spread the information, it will also make them harder to find.
"We will reduce the ranking of groups and pages that spread misinformation about vaccinations in news feed and search".
Facebook also says it will start rejecting ads that include vaccine misinformation and disable ad accounts that violate its policies. Facebook is partnering with World Health Organization, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others to identify a verifiable vaccine hoax and take them down. These groups and pages will not be included in recommendations or in predictions when you type into search.
Removing related targeting options, like "vaccine controversies".
The Explore and hashtag pages of Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, also will not show or recommend content that contains anti-vaccination messages, Bickert said, explaining the details with a simple example.
Facebook Inc. has been criticized for allowing its platform to amplify anti-vaccine views, fueling a public health crisis. For instance, Facebook made no mention of deleting pages or groups that carry the anti-vaccination content.
The company has faced pressure in recent weeks to tackle the problem, amid outbreaks of measles around the United States attributed to growing numbers of parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.
Facebook isn't banning such content outright - Pinterest, by comparison, will now delete anti-vax content it detects on its platform - but it is looking to limit its reach, and reduce its spread throughout its network. "If these vaccine hoaxes appear on Facebook, we will take action against them", Facebook said in its statement. However, the spokeswoman said, the users who already belong to the groups or pages will be able to log onto them as usual. Earlier this week, a teenager from OH who had to inoculate himself testified before the Senate that his anti-vax mother received her information on vaccines exclusively through Facebook.
Last month, in a letter to Mark Zuckerberg, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., also addressed Facebook's shortcomings in counteracting the dissemination of inaccurate facts.
Laughing, Lindenberger said, "Not Facebook".