While COVID-19 vaccines now being shipped, Facebook has announced that it will step up its efforts in order to eliminate vaccine misinformation, which has the potential to undermine public health efforts.
In light of the COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, Facebook explains:
“Given the recent news that COVID-19 vaccines will soon be rolling out around the world, over the coming weeks we will start removing false claims about these vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts on Facebook and Instagram. This could include false claims about the safety, efficacy, ingredients, or side effects of the vaccines.”
According to this, Facebook says that this will include any posts or comments that claim the following:
This is a crucial step, back in June, US infectious –disease expert, expert Dr. Anthony Fauci warned of a long battle against coronavirus in America because of the rising “anti-science bias”, which would see many refusing the vaccine.
In light of the COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, Facebook has been identified as a key contributor to this. In August, human rights group Avaaz released a report, it showed that the social media platform –Facebook- had facilitated the spread of a wide range of health misinformation, with Facebook Pages sharing misleading health reports seeing a cumulative 3.8 billion views in the first five months of 2020.
Based on this, it’s important for Facebook to take a lead role, besides working to eliminate COVID-19 vaccine misinformation as best it can ahead of the global vaccine effort.
Facebook says that it will evolve its approach as official advice is updated, along with working to tackle concerning claims as quickly as possible.
Facebook also says: “We will also continue to help people stay informed about these vaccines by promoting authoritative sources of information through our COVID-19 Information Center.”
It is worth mention that, this is the main effort, especially, for Facebook, and it could play the main role in maximizing the take-up of the vaccine and getting life back to normal as soon as possible.