Picture: Reuters

As part of their effort to reduce the spread of "vaccine hoaxes" on its platform, Facebook and its photo-sharing app Instagram will no longer allow advertisements that include misinformation about vaccines.

The company has decided to take action against accounts which are promoting vaccine hoaxes that have been publicly identified by the World Health Organisation and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, US.

"We want to give people more accurate information from expert organisations about vaccines at the top of results for related searches, on Pages discussing the topic, and on invitations to join groups about the topic," Monika Bickert, Vice President, Global Policy Management, Facebook wrote in a blog-post on Thursday. 

As part of the initiative, the Facebook Pages that spread misinformation about vaccinations in News Feed and Search would not be included in recommendations or predictions. 

On Instagram, recommended content on vaccinations that could contain wrong information would not show up in the Explore tab and hashtag pages.

Since both the social networking platforms are heavily used by advertisers, ads found to include fake news on vaccinations would be rejected outright.

"For ad accounts that continue to violate our policies, we may take further action, such as disabling the ad account," Bickert said. 

"We are exploring ways to share educational information about vaccines when people come across misinformation on this topic," she added.