Regardless of your stance on vaccination, hiding information about anti-vaccine groups and content probably doesn’t help anyone.
ZDNet, an Australian news website, reported that Facebook is attempting to hide what it deems “vaccine misinformation” from users.
Facebook recently submitted a report to the Australian Senate Select Committee on Foreign Interference through Social Media. In the report, Facebook stated that it is “taking a range of steps to make anti-vaccination misinformation harder to find and to elevate authoritative information about vaccines … .”
In order to achieve this purpose, Facebook said that it is “removing Groups and Pages that spread vaccine misinformation from recommendations or predictions when you type into Search.” It also said it is “Rejecting ads and fundraisers that include anti-vaccination misinformation once we find them” and that it is “Inserting authoritative notices at the top of Groups and Pages that are discussing anti-vax misinformation.”
To be clear, Facebook is not removing anti-vaccine groups or pages from the platform. It is, however, making the content more difficult to find.
The anti-vax movement exists on both the far right and the far left. The Washington Post noted that there were several prominent anti-vax individuals, including Andrew Wakefield and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Facebook, in recent months, has attempted to crack down hard on “misinformation,” but its attempts have often resulted in the censorship of conservative voices.
Just in the last few weeks, Facebook has removed or labelled multiple posts from President Donald Trump. On September 3, for example, Facebook flagged Trump’s post that told voters how to make sure their votes have been properly collected and tabulated. In August, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said that the platform is prepared to take down any of the president’s posts that violate its definition of “hate speech” or “misinformation.” The platform also removed a video of Trump discussing the effects of COVID-19 on children in the same month.
Conservatives are under attack: Contact Facebook headquarters at 1-650-308-7300 and demand that the platform mirror the First Amendment: Tech giants should afford their users nothing less than the free speech embodied in the First Amendment as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.