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Facebook to remove fake posts about COVID-19 vaccines

Facebook will now remove any pictures or posts about the Coronavirus vaccines that are fake and have not been confirmed by public health experts.

twitter-logoAnkita Chakravarti | December 4, 2020 | Updated 14:14 IST

Highlights

  • Facebook on Thursday said it will remove posts that make false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Facebook had earlier removed thousands of posts from its platform that aimed to spread false information about coronavirus.
  • Facebook also said that it will remove conspiracy theories of the coronavirus vaccines.

Facebook on Thursday said it will remove posts that make false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines. This means that Facebook will now remove any pictures or posts about the Coronavirus vaccines that are fake and have not been confirmed by public health experts.UK became one of the first countries to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19.

Facebook had earlier removed thousands of posts from its platform that aimed to spread false information about coronavirus. Social media had labeled and reduced the reach of posts that were fake. As per the latest developments, Facebook said that it will start removing false claims about the coronavirus vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts on Facebook and Instagram.

"Given the recent news that COVID-19 vaccines will soon be rolling out around the world, over the coming weeks we will start removing false claims about these vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts on Facebook and Instagram," Facebook said in a blog.

Facebook specified that false claims like COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips or anything about the ingredients of the covid vaccines will be removed from the platform. "This is another way that we are applying our policy to remove misinformation about the virus that could lead to imminent physical harm. This could include false claims about the safety, efficacy, ingredients or side effects of the vaccines. For example, we will remove false claims that COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips or anything else that isn't on the official vaccine ingredient list," the blog said.

The social media giant also said that it will remove conspiracy theories of the coronavirus vaccines. Some of the theories claiming that people of a specific country are being forcefully given the vaccine to test the safety were doing the rounds as soon as the news of countries approving covid vaccines surfaced.

"We will also remove conspiracy theories about COVID-19 vaccines that we know today are false: like specific populations are being used without their consent to testing the vaccine's safety. We will not be able to start enforcing these policies overnight. Since it's early and facts about COVID-19 vaccines will continue to evolve, we will regularly update the claims we remove based on guidance from public health authorities as they learn more," Facebook said.

On a related note, Britain has said that the Pfizer BioTech vaccine will be rolled out for use by the next week. Whereas in India, the Serum Institute of India is likely to sell the COVID-19 vaccine by March 2021.

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