Facebook to take down false vaccine claims

Facebook said on Monday it will start removing false claims about vaccines from its platform.

The social media company said in a blog post it would broaden its target of debunked claims about the pandemic and vaccines in general.

Some conspiracy theorists have falsely stated that the coronavirus was man-made and vaccines can cause autism.

In recent weeks news reports have identified these false claims spreading in Facebook pages, groups and Instagram accounts.

Such claims are already prohibited in ads on the platform, and now user generated content will also face restrictions.

The tech giant also said it would help users find out more about where to get the coronavirus vaccine.

Facebook's head of health, KX Jin:

"We're going to be building features that help people find whether, where, and when they can get vaccinated, very similar to how we approached those last year. We're also bringing the COVID-19 Information Center to Instagram and expanding our WhatsApp helpline program to make it easier for people to get accurate information about the vaccine.

In the past, Facebook has taken a more hands off approach to misinformation about vaccines in general.

It has only removed posts that it considered at risk of causing imminent harm.

Critics said this approach fuelled the rise of anti-vaccine communities and rhetoric.