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Facebook to Combat Anti-Vaccine Conspiracies

Facebook is an invaluable asset in your marketing and visibility efforts. But as we learned in the 2016 election (and the reason why the social media behemoth is now under immense scrutiny) is it can also be a platform for misinformation. With clicks and likes and shares and comments, potentially harmful, inaccurate posts are amplified, leading to a populace that’s gleaning its real-world insights from fake stories.

Facebook had set out to tamp down on the fake news epidemic plaguing its platform, and they’ve now committed to purging newsfeeds of anti-vaccine conspiracy theories. And yes, they’re everywhere on the website.

With outbreaks of once preventable diseases affecting pockets of the country, Facebook is now taking an active role in keeping harmful anti-vaccine conspiracy theories from spreading—with the end goal of stopping the spread of illnesses like measles. They won’t be banning such content outright, but adjusting their algorithm that makes it more difficult to find.

Last week Ethan Lindenberger testified before Congress about why he defied his mother and chose to get vaccinated. At the heart of his argument was that his mom was receiving information from social media sources, and not legitimate outlets like the CDC. His testimony brought the fight against anti-vaxx conspiracies into the fore, and the role that social media plays in spreading false information.

So Facebook has responded by limiting the availability of this content to its users. Hopefully the move translates to a reduction of illnesses that were once controlled due to vaccines.      

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