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Facebook has vowed to crack down on false information about the Covid-19 vaccine, but misleading posts are easy to find | US & World News

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(CNN)-Approximately two months after the launch of the largest vaccine in US history, Instagram continued to prominently list vaccination prevention accounts in search results, but Facebook groups against vaccines remain easy to find. Is done.

Facebook has Fighting for years Addresses anti-boxer content. At the end of last year, two years ago, after pledged to reduce the spread of anti-boxer content, a new rule was established to address false information about the Covid-19 vaccine. However, misleading and misleading content about the Covid vaccine, as well as complete misinformation, continues to spread on the platform in an era when stakes could not be raised. False information about vaccines can mean life or death.

According to a series of searches conducted by CNN, four of the top 10 Facebook-owned Instagram search results for “vaccine” were vaccinated against “vaccine truth,” “vaccine freedom,” “antivaxx know the facts,” and “cv19 vaccine reactions.” It was about an account. Business from multiple different Instagram handles that started two weeks ago.

Shortly thereafter, Instagram updated its mobile device’s search interface to show three trusted results, including a CDC account, followed by a “Show other results” prompt. Users who click on that option will see several vaccination prevention accounts. This is almost the same digital version that pushes mess into the bedroom under the bed.

Some of those accounts have attracted a fair amount of followers, raising the question of whether Instagram’s suggestion of them as the best result for users who are simply looking for vaccine information helped them grow their audience. To do. The “cv19vaccine reactions” account, which is dedicated to documenting side effect claims for vaccines, boasts over 77,000 followers. Accounts often share unfounded reports, implying an unproven link between people receiving the Covid-19 vaccine and major health events, including stroke and miscarriage.

The fact that some of this anti-vaxx content remains clearly invisible on the platform highlights the controversial differences in Facebook’s approach. A spokesman for one company says Facebook clearly distinguishes false information about vaccines. Feelings for the more common vaccines allowed on the platform.

December, Facebook Said It will remove allegations about the coronavirus vaccine exposed by public health authorities, including unfounded conspiracy theories that include microchips. Previously, Facebook policy banned false information about Covid-19 that “contributes to the risk of imminent violence and physical harm.”

Public health experts are generally afraid that false information about Covid-19 vaccines and anti-vaccination content on social media can lead people to refuse injections. It states. “If they are scared by perpetual falsehoods through social media, the real problem of getting out of this pandemic will arise,” said Dr. LJ Tan, chief strategy officer of the Infrastructure as Code (IAC). Said.

Facebook spokesman Joe Osborn said the company is working to “reduce the number of people who see false information” about vaccines, “to other misleading vaccine content outside the scope of these policies. We are working harder to deal with it. “

Osborne said he would remove claims about the Covid-19 vaccine revealed by public health experts, add labels, and reduce the distribution of other false information deemed false by third-party fact-checking partners. I added.

Facebook when the measles outbreak hit the United States nearly two years ago I vowed to fight We have vaccinated false information by limiting the reach of such content on the platform, but we could not completely ban it. In March 2019, Facebook announced that it would “lower the ranking of groups and pages that disseminate false information about vaccination” by not including them in the recommendations and predictions that users enter in the search bar. .. But two months later CNN Business found Instagram provided posts from vaccination accounts and vaccination hashtags to anyone searching for the word “vaccine”.

Facebook Deleted a large private group CNN Business devoted itself to vaccine repellent content in November 2020 and found that more than 20 vaccine repellent groups remain on the platform, with membership ranging from hundreds to tens of thousands of users. (The company said the group deleted in November was flagged as violating the recidivism policy, which allowed group managers to do something similar to the one deleted by the company. You will not be able to create groups. QAnon Conspiracy.. )

Last week, when I searched for the word “vaccine” in Facebook’s group function, three of the top 20 results displayed by the platform were vaccines such as “Say No Covid 19 Vaccine” and “COVID-19 Vaccine”. Connected to a group promoting countermeasure content. Injury Stories and VaccineTalk: Forums for both Pro and AntiVaxxers-with over 50,000 members. The list fluctuates. After a few days, none of these groups were in the top 20, but results 18-20 showed groups discussing side effects or side effects of the vaccine. Scrolling further down, I could easily find other anti-vaccine groups in the search results. The group entitled “Unvaccinated and Prosperity” has been widely and consistently criticized for explaining the link between vaccines and autism and other disorders and illnesses. It’s unclear what enhances Facebook’s search recommendations and why the results change daily. Facebook did not provide a clear explanation after repeatedly requesting comments.

Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, a professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, called false alarms on social media vaccines “extremely dangerous” and said they could have “disastrous consequences.” ..

“We are competing with the virus,” she said. “Everyone to be vaccinated should be vaccinated as soon as possible.”

One public Facebook group with over 58,000 members is dedicated to posting about possible “vaccine injuries and reactions.” Some recent posts on the group’s page have no links, or “no context,” marked as “false information” by Facebook’s independent fact checker. Independent fact checkers can mislead people with this information. It contains a link labeled “I say I have sex”.One shared link-and Labeled as false According to an independent fact checker-53 people claimed to have died in Gibraltar due to the Covid-19 vaccine. Despite the warning labels, group members continue to be involved in these links, raising questions about Facebook’s fact checkers and sharing unfounded stories and theories that vaccines are dangerous.

“The story doesn’t have to be accurate to change your mind, that’s what we’re fighting right now,” said IAC Tan. “Science is not the most compelling story in the age of the Internet.”

El-Sadr of Colombia warned people to pay attention to the anecdotes and individual stories read in such Facebook groups. This may or may not be true and may be related to the vaccine.

“So far, the vast majority of people have been vaccinated completely without problems,” she said. “We need to keep people reminded of this. These vaccines have a very safe profile and are incredibly effective.”

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