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Facebook News Feed To Clear out supposed Miracle Cures and More

Travis Yeh, a product manager at the social network Facebook, wrote that the policy will focus on health topics that exaggerate or mislead users, such as claims about a “miracle cure” for deadly diseases. The new rules will also crack down on promoting products that have health-related claims, such as weight loss pills. 

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The post continue “In our ongoing efforts to improve the quality of information in News Feed, we consider ranking changes based on how they affect people, publishers and our community as a whole. We know that people don’t like posts that are sensational or spammy, and misleading health content is particularly bad for our community. So, last month we made two ranking updates to reduce (1) posts with exaggerated or sensational health claims and (2) posts attempting to sell products or services based on health-related claims.

  • For the first update, we consider if a post about health exaggerates or misleads — for example, making a sensational claim about a miracle cure.
  • For the second update, we consider if a post promotes a product or service based on a health-related claim — for example, promoting a medication or pill claiming to help you lose weight.”

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According to the Wall Street Journal, as of the end of May, Facebook was still running paid ads promoting vaccine harm. Instagram was also recommending anti-vaccine content to users. 

“Leading global health organizations, such as the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have publicly identified verifiable vaccine hoaxes,” Facebook wrote in March. “If these vaccine hoaxes appear on Facebook, we will take action against them.” 

There have been at least 1,095 cases of measles so far this year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of the people who came down with the highly infectious disease were unvaccinated. The spike in cases comes as misinformation about vaccines has spread across social media.

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Aside from Facebook, Twitter is fighting vaccine misinformation by prompting users who search for vaccine-rated keywords to get accurate information at vaccines.gov. 

“At Twitter, we understand the importance of vaccines in preventing illness and disease and recognize the role that Twitter plays in disseminating important public health information,” a blog post from May states. 

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