Facebook bans anti-vaccination ads but not antivax posts
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Facebook has gone from 0 to 100 when it involves its content moderation.
In additional to flagging false elections and Covid-19 information, the platform will now be removing false claims about the upcoming coronavirus vaccines.
Facebook released their statements as leading vaccine’s are coming closer to their extreme stages and approval for release.
These vaccines are key with the fight against the virus as vague hopes around herd immunity development have proven to be ineffectively and multiple waves of the virus sweep across the world.
The company has outlined that their new rules will includes to false claims regarding the “safety, efficacy, ingredients or side effects of the vaccines.
For example, we will remove false claims that Covid-19 vaccines contain microchips, or anything that isn’t on the official vaccine ingredient list.”
This is a bold move because the antivaxx (anti-vaccination) community features a strong presence on the social media site with many groups dedicated thereto.
Facebook said it’ll update the principles as new issues round the vaccine arise.
This is a sensible move because the antivaxx movement has impressive traction and PR, making it a shape-shifter when it involves arguments regarding its false position.
How effectively this enforcement is going to be remains to be seen, the location has had problems within the past with content management, letting false or harmful information slip through.
However, Facebook has teamed up with fact-checking organizations worldwide to assist during this fight.
In South Africa and Africa, the corporate has partnered with Africa Check, the leading fact-checking site within the region.
¤ Why false information must be blocked :
The problem within misinformation regarding the Covid-19 vaccine is that protection against the virus will only occur if everyone who is in a position is given the FDA approved shot.
This is how herd immunity is made. Since there’re (few) who can’t take the vaccine for medical reasons,
Others who got to stay those that can’t safe and eliminate the virus within the human population completely.
In the past, viruses are removed entirely through vaccination.
Small-pox has been completely eliminated since the vaccine with the last known case happening in 1977 in Somalia.
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¤ Effectiveness of content moderation :
A new concern is whether content moderation and warnings are even effectively.
According to Facebook, despite placing warnings over coronavirus misinformation by Donald Trump, it did little to prevent its spread consistent with internal data from the corporate.
This creates a replacement concern about how far sites need to attend to stop these theories in their tracks.
If putting a “misinformation” sign isn’t enough to prevent people, is totally removing it the answer?
¤ Moderation and Free Speech :
Those within the antivaxx community et al. love it often call this type of content moderation a stifling of free speech.
In the US this is often even more prominent at the country doesn’t have laws that outline exactly what constitutes freedom of speech.
However, Facebook and other sites have noted the importance of stopping the spread of false information as some extent of safety which is taken into account to trump free speech.
During the pandemic, there has been a marked increase in conspiracy theories and misinformation on sites starting from antivaxx theories to QAnon expansion.
This has pushed sites to be more hands on when it involves content being shared.
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