“I think that the opinions of people who are already part of an anti-spy lobby simply can not be changed, but we have to do a lot to ensure that people searching for vaccine information come up with professional and real data, rather than having an impact on their opinion false information, “says epidemiologist Thomas Breuer.
Facebook, Twitter and others take action against the spread of vaccine disinformation
Information from social networks in Slovenia also contributes significantly to the lower share of vaccinated patients. In particular, the stories of parents and children with (alleged) severe consequences of vaccination, although it is difficult to verify the stories, as they usually contain too little information.
While most of this information is initially published by activists, harsh opponents of vaccination, the latter also by parents who were vaccinated as children and without any problems, provokes questioning whether child vaccination is a good idea.
With new outbreaks of diseases, giants who own social platforms are also aware of their responsibilities. “Companies that manage social networks have changed their approach – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest … In the last 6-8 weeks, they actually did a lot of things. Among them, Facebook has opted for a different policy when it comes to advertising anti-spyware, algorithms that are concerned with the spread of disinformation have also been launched, “explains Breuer.
What actually did Facebook do? It has been announced that they will not block content that opposes vaccination; the network still remains the place of freedom of speech, but intends to offer users more “verified, expert information about vaccination”. Also, the platform will no longer allow promotion of these content, therefore it will not appear among the recommended content.
The decision did not come as a surprise. Facebook, YouTube and even Amazon have found themselves under the avalanche of criticism, when it became clear that these platforms are the very places from which the disinformation spreads and people are willing to believe them more than they believe in scientific explanations.
An interesting piece of information has recently been published by the Daily Beast portal, which says that, in a short time, 150 advertisements have been leaked on Facebook for vaccination. The majority was targeted at the target group of women over the age of 25 years. Many showed up on what content might be of interest to pregnant women, and together they had nearly two million views in a short time. Guardian, for example, has warned that Facebook’s vaccination announcement algorithms rank over the publication of expert sources. Facebook now intends to extend the fight against the spread of disinformation to Instagram, for example, on one of the most popular badges, the English version of the phrase “vaccine killing”. Pinterest also announced the fight against this content.
The information is prepared by the team of the COMPACT project.
COMPACT is a Coordination and Support Action funded European Commission under framework Horizon 2020.
The objective of the COMPACT project is to increase awareness (including scientific, political, cultural, legal, economic and technical areas) of the latest technological discoveries among key stakeholders in the context of social media and convergence. The project will offer analyses and road maps of related initiatives. In addition, extensive research on policies and regulatory frameworks in media and content will be developed.
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