Facebook Moves to Suppress Anti-Vaxxers

Facebook Moves to Suppress Anti-Vaxxers

Two days after a teen son of an anti-vaxxer told Congress he believed his mother was misinformed on Facebook, the company said it will no longer show anti-vaccination groups or pages in its recommended content. But it won’t remove anti-vaxxers altogether. Facebook believes their opinion of vaccinations is correct and will “tackle vaccine misinformation” by significantly limiting its audience.

'For my mother, her love, affection and care as a parent was used to push an agenda to create a false distress,' Ethan Lindenberger, from Norwark, Ohio, said during his testimony.

'These sources, which spread misinformation, should be the primary concern of the American people.' 

Senator Isakson asked: 'Where do you get most of your information?'

'From not-Facebook,' Lindenberger replied. 'From the CDC, the World Health Organization, scientific journals, and cited information from those organizations like the Institute of Medicine, trying my best to look at accredited sources.'  

In addition to removing them from users' recommendations, Facebook has also banned any ads they feel include misinformation about vaccines and will also stop showing anti-vaxxer groups and pages in search predictions. This action will also extend into Instagram.

Pinterest also made the decision last month to ban all searches for terms such as ‘vaccination’ and ‘vaccine.’

In November 2017, Mark Zuckerberg published a memo regarding its censorship. “What should be the limits to what people can express?” he asked. “What content should be distributed and what should be blocked? Who should decide these policies to make enforcement decisions?”

Facebook refers to its community standards and the internal guidelines that it uses when enforcing the compliance regarding the use of its platform.

'Leading global health organizations, such as the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have publicly identified verifiable vaccine hoaxes,' Monika Bickert, Facebook’s vice president for global policy management, said in a statement Thursday. “If these vaccine hoaxes appear on Facebook, we will take action against them.”

In addition to this, there will also be some new guidelines and recourse if you've been banned or your content is consistently censored.

A concept aired might be something considered as a Supreme Court of Facebook. “I’ve increasingly come to believe that Facebook should not make so many important decisions about free expression and safety on our own,” Zuckerberg wrote. “In the next year, we’re planning to create a new way for people to appeal content decisions to an independent body, whose decisions would be transparent and binding.”

Child Vaccinations - The Doctors Debate Video

As measles make a nationwide comeback, are parents who refuse to vaccinate their children contributing to the problem? Or are the vaccinations more dangerous than the disease itself? Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center, shares her emotional story of how a vaccination allegedly "took on her son" Chris, who immediately after being vaccinated with a DPT shot suffered a convulsion, went into shock and lost consciousness. He was later diagnosed with brain damage and attention-deficit disorder.

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