Facebook is banning adverts that discourage people from having vaccinations, but posts from anti-vaxxers will still be allowed on the platform.Adverts that perpetuate false information about vaccinations, such as the discredited theory that they give people autism, are already banned by the platform, and the latest move will expand the ban to paid adverts that tell people not to have jabs.
However, Facebook will allow a political exception, and adverts that “advocate for or against legislation or government policies around vaccines”, including those for COVID-19, will still be allowed and have to be approved by the site.
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Unpaid posts made by users or groups that discourage vaccinations will still be allowed, with the new ban only reaching to paid adverts.The social media giant will also run information campaigns to encourage users to get a flu vaccine this year and is working with organisations such as the World Health Organisation and UNICEF to improve vaccination rates.
Groups and pages that spread false information are already hidden on the platform’s search tool, and since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Facebook has tightened its rules around COVID-related misinformation.
The platform also steers users away from health-related groups, saying it is important that people get their information from authoritative sources.It also bans what it defines as “dangerous” misinformation about the pandemic, and has even removed posts by US President Donald Trump as a result of the policy.