An Update on Our Work to Keep People Informed and Limit Misinformation About COVID-19

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Removing More False Claims About COVID-19 and Vaccines

Today, we are expanding our efforts to remove false claims on Facebook and Instagram about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines and vaccines in general during the pandemic. Since December, we’ve removed false claims about COVID-19 vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts. Today, following consultations with leading health organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), we are expanding the list of false claims we will remove to include additional debunked claims about the coronavirus and vaccines. This includes claims such as: 

  • COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured
  • Vaccines are not effective at preventing the disease they are meant to protect against
  • It’s safer to get the disease than to get the vaccine
  • Vaccines are toxic, dangerous or cause autism 

The full list of claims is available here, and we already prohibit these claims in ads. These new policies will help us continue to take aggressive action against misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines.

We will begin enforcing this policy immediately, with a particular focus on Pages, groups and accounts that violate these rules, and we’ll continue to expand our enforcement over the coming weeks. Groups, Pages and accounts on Facebook and Instagram that repeatedly share these debunked claims may be removed altogether. We are also requiring some admins for groups with admins or members who have violated our COVID-19 policies to temporarily approve all posts within their group. Claims about COVID-19 or vaccines that do not violate these policies will still be eligible for review by our third-party fact-checkers, and if they are rated false, they will be labeled and demoted.  

Finally, we are continuing to improve Search results on our platforms. When people search for vaccine or COVID-19 related content on Facebook, we promote relevant, authoritative results and provide third-party resources to connect people to expert information about vaccines. On Instagram, in addition to surfacing authoritative results in Search, in the coming weeks we’re making it harder to find accounts in search that discourage people from getting vaccinated.

As we noted last month in response to guidance from the Oversight Board, we are committed to providing more transparency around these policies. You can read the detailed updates in Facebook’s Community Standards and in our Help Center. As the situation evolves, we’ll continue to review content on our platforms, assess trends in language and engage with experts to provide additional policy guidance to keep people safe during this crisis.

By Guy Rosen, VP Integrity

Update on February 8, 2021 at 10:00AM PT:

See Original Press Release on Facebook

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