Facebook to tag vaccine posts to combat COVID-19 misinfo


LONDON (AP) – Facebook is adding informational tags to vaccine posts as it expands its efforts to counter the COVID-19-related misinformation flourishing on its platforms.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a blog post On Monday the labels will contain “credible information” about vaccines from the World Health Organization. They will be in English and five other languages, with more languages ​​to be added in the coming weeks.

“For example, we are adding a label in publications that discuss the safety of COVID-19 vaccines that indicates that COVID-19 vaccines go through safety and effectiveness tests before being approved,” Zuckerberg said.

The social network is also adding a tool to help users get vaccinated by connecting them with information on where and when they can get vaccinated.

Facebook and Instagram have come under fire for allowing anti-vaccine propaganda to spread and for being woefully slow to remove misinformation, often with fact-checking, tagging, and other restricted measures.

“This announcement falls far short of what is needed to solve the crisis of anti-vaccine lies that are polluting the timelines of social media users,” said Imran Ahmed, executive director of the nonprofit Center to Fight Anti-Vaccine. digital hate, critical of the handling of hate speech and disinformation.

“Facebook and Instagram have yet to remove the vast majority of posts reported to them as containing dangerous misinformation about vaccines,” he said. “The main super-spreaders of anti-vaccine lies still have a presence on Instagram or Facebook, despite promises to eliminate them.” . And the evidence suggests that the way Facebook labels misinformation posts has minimal impact. “

For years, Facebook and other social platforms have allowed anti-vaccination propaganda to flourish, making it difficult to end those sentiments now. And its efforts to eliminate other types of COVID-19 misinformation, often with fact checks, informative labels, and other restricted measures, have been woefully slow.

The Associated Press recently identified More than a dozen Facebook pages and Instagram accounts, which together have millions of followers, have made false claims about the COVID-19 vaccine or discouraged people from taking it. Some of these pages have been around for years.

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