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Facebook expands ban on COVID-19 vaccine misinformation

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Facebook says it will expand its crackdown on bogus COVID-19 vaccine claims — while promoting information about how and where to get shots.

The social media giant will prohibit users from sharing baseless claims on its platforms about how the jabs are toxic, dangerous or cause autism, NPR reported.

The company will also remove posts that allege that the vaccines are ineffective or that it’s safer to become sick from the disease than get the shot, the outlet reported.

In addition to targeting false claims, the company will also promote information about the inoculations from authoritative sources.

“Health officials and health authorities are in the early stages of trying to vaccinate the world against COVID-19, and experts agree that rolling this out successfully is going to be helping build confidence in vaccines,” Kang-Xing Jin, Facebook’s head of health, told the outlet.

Jin said that they believe it will be more effective to fight misinformation from different angles.

“We know that misinformation thrives in the absence of good information,” he said. “So because of this, a core part of our strategy is actually partnering with health authorities and amplifying credible information to meet people’s needs and get their questions answered where they are.”

Facebook previously pledged in December to prohibit COVID-19 vaccine conspiracy theories that have been debunked by public health experts, including the baseless claim that the shots contain microchips.

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