Facebook will remove groups and pages that discourage vaccines for Covid-19 and other diseases, after conspiracy theories about vaccines have boomed in recent months.
Speaking on the BBC News World Service’s podcast The Anti-Vax Files, Steve Hatch, Facebook vice president for Northern Europe, they the social network had a responsibility to ensure people were seeing accurate information on its platforms.
He said the company is now removing groups, pages and accounts, including from Instagram, that deliberately discourage people from taking vaccines.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Facebook has labelled 160 million pieces of content as ‘misleading’.
The decision to remove groups, pages and accounts goes further than Facebook’s previously stated policy of just removing false claims.
Groups and pages that discourage vaccines will be removed regardless of whether the information can be verified as false or not.
Hatch said: “Well, we certainly feel we’ve got a big responsibility to ensure people are seeing the accurate information.
“Over 2 billion people have been directed to the NHS and other health authorities around the world.”