Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. File picture: Reuters
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. File picture: Reuters

Facebook won't flag anti-vaxxing misinformation, says Mark Zuckerberg

By Bang Showbiz Time of article published Sep 9, 2020

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Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook has no plans to flag posts containing misinformation about anti-vaccination.

The social media network's CEO has insisted that while the site has cracked down on misinformation relating to Covid-19, they don't believe it's right to stop someone expressing issues they've had where a vaccine has caused harm.

Speaking during an interview for 'Axios on HBO', he said: "We work with the CDC and we work with the WHO and trusted health organisations to remove clear misinformation about health related issues that could cause an imminent risk of harm."

"If someone is pointing out a case where a vaccine caused harm or that they're worried about it -- you know, that's a difficult thing to say from my perspective that you shouldn't be allowed to express at all."

He added: "What we try to say is if people are overgeneralising things, if they're spreading misinformation and we can defer to a third party fact checker or an organisation like the CDC or WHO on kind of clear health guidelines on things that could lead to imminent harm, if people don't follow them, then we will try to take action against those."

Zuckerberg's comments regarding anti-vaxxing come after social media companies were urged to take sterner action against coronavirus misinformation.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) called on the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to do even more to tackle the problem.

Imran Ahmed, the CCDH's chief executive, said: "This is an immediate crisis, with a ticking time bomb about to go off in our societies.

"Social media companies ... do not listen to polite requests for change. Given the acute nature of the coronavirus crisis, their failure to act must now be met with real consequences."

Facebook claimed that it's already taken "aggressive steps to limit the spread of misinformation" about the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said it has removed more than seven million items from its platform.

Twitter, meanwhile, acknowledged it does not take action against every misinformed coronavirus post, but insisted it does prioritise those that could cause the most damage.

The micro-blogging platform explained: "Our automated systems have challenged millions of accounts which were targeting discussions around Covid-19 with spammy or manipulative behaviours."

Bang Showbiz

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