(Reuters) – Facebook, the world’s largest social media platform, said we are about to start banning Ads that are explicitly inciting people to boycott vaccination. Facebook also announced a new media campaign for a vaccine.
The company reported in a post that all the Ads that support or oppose government legislation or policies about vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine, will still be allowed. And the new policy will take a place in the next few days.
Facebook, which has 2.7 billion monthly active users, is under pressure from the public health groups to crack down on vaccine-fighting content and disinformation on its platform. The company said that although a COVID-19 vaccine will not be available for some time, but the pandemic has highlighted the importance of preventive health behaviors.
Previous Facebook policies had banned Ads with misleading information about vaccines set by leading health organizations, but allowed anti-vaccine Ads if they did not contain false claims.
“The company believes that users should be able to express their personal point of views about vaccines, and that more stringent oversight could push hesitated people about vaccines into the anti-vaccine groups” Facebook’s director of public policy, Jason Hirsch, told Reuters.
According to the company’s chief health officer Kang Jin and product management officer Rob Leathern, Facebook will also begin providing US users this week with information about a new vaccine and how to get it.
They also added that Facebook is working with public health partners including the World Health Organization and UNICEF in campaigns of encouragement messages to increase vaccination rates.
Researchers told Reuters earlier this year that anti-vaccine content and misinformation about new COVID-19 vaccines have grown on many social media platforms including Facebook during the coronavirus pandemic.
The company also said it would stop recommending health-related Facebook groups, saying it is important that users get health information from “reliable sources”.