Facebook aims to reduce 'anti-vaxxer' messages, ads as part of 'safety' campaign - InfoNews

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Facebook aims to reduce 'anti-vaxxer' messages, ads as part of 'safety' campaign

The Facebook logo is displayed on an iPad in Philadelphia on May 16, 2012.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
March 08, 2019 - 4:30 PM

VANCOUVER - A British Columbia mother who launched a petition urging parents against vaccination to home school their children says Facebook's plan to tackle misinformation about immunization doesn't go far enough.

Katie Clunn of Maple Ridge says the social media giant should outright ban any posts against immunization instead of reducing their distribution.

Nearly 45,000 people have signed Clunn's petition since she started it about three weeks ago after a measles outbreak that has now reached at least 17 cases in Metro Vancouver.

So-called anti vaxxers have used social media to spread misinformation about the highly contagious disease, some maintaining the measles, mumps and rubella or MMR vaccine causes autism despite that belief being repeatedly debunked through scientific research.

Facebook says it aims to reduce the ranking of groups and pages that spread misinformation and will reject such ads when it finds them but simply removing "provocative thinking" will not build awareness around facts.

Clunn says the site that has been widely accused of allowing misinformation to continue on a range of topics needs to do more to protect children from "dangerous" groups that deal in paranoia, not science.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2019
The Canadian Press

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