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Facebook to crack down on ads that discourage vaccines

The social media giant, however, stopped short of banning anti-vax content.

The post added that while they already don’t allow ads featuring vaccine hoaxes, “Now, if an ad explicitly discourages someone from getting a vaccine, we’ll reject it.”

Moreover, the social media giant announced the launch of a new campaign to provide information about flu vaccines to users, and pledged to work with “global health partners on campaigns to increase immunization rates,” Jin and Leathern said.

PHOTO: The Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken Dec. 2, 2019.

The Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken Dec. 2, 2019.

Facebook’s policy, however, stops short of banning posts or other types of content on the platform that discourages vaccines. It also does not ban political ads that “advocate for or against legislation or government policies around vaccines — including a COVID-19 vaccine,” Jin and Leathern wrote.

“We’ll continue to require anyone running these ads to get authorized and include a ‘Paid for by’ label so people can see who is behind them,” the blog post stated.

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Facebook to ban ads that ‘explicitly’ discourage vaccine use

Oct. 13 (UPI) — Facebook said Tuesday that it will ban ads that “explicitly” discourage vaccine use, expanding on its policy to reject vaccine hoaxes.

The social media company’s head of health, Kang-Xing Jin, and Rob Leathern, director of product management, announced the ban against such ads in a joint statement.

“We already don’t allow ads with vaccine hoaxes that have been publicly identified by leading global health organizations, such as the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” they said in the joint statement. “Now, if an ad explicitly discourages someone from getting a vaccine, we’ll reject it. Enforcement will begin over the next few days.’

They added that the ban will not include ads that advocate for or against legislation or government policies around vaccines, but those ads will have to be authorized and will include a “paid for by” label for people to see who is behind them.

“If an ad that advocates for/against legislation or government policies explicitly discourages a vaccine, it will be rejected,” a Facebook spokesperson told CNBC. “That includes portraying vaccines as useless, ineffective, unsafe or unhealthy, describing the disease vaccines are created for as harmless, or the ingredients in vaccines as harmful or deadly.”

Facebook officials also said in the statement Tuesday that the social media platform will launch a new flu vaccine information campaign and work with global health partners to increase immunization rates. This work includes working with the World Health Organization and UNICEF on public messaging campaigns to increase immunization rates with such rates still being low in many parts of the world.

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