Facebook is ready to fight back against anti-vaxxers

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The battle Facebook wages against the spread of fake news and misinformation could be set to expand to include removing anti-vaccination content from the social network.

The anti-vaxxer movement has long been fairly vocal, and it has found a home on Facebook. The viral spread of anti-vaccine groups on the social network has been blamed -- at least partly -- for outbreaks of measles in the US. Facing pressure to block the spread of dangerously misleading information, Facebook has said that it could demote anti-vaxxer content and remove it from recommendations.


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Representative Adam Schiff wrote to Mark Zuckerberg calling on him to do more to stem the flow of "medically inaccurate information about vaccines". In his letter, Schiff expresses his concern about declining vaccination numbers and asks what actions Facebook will take to prevent misleading information spreading online. He also asks whether the sharing of medically inaccurate information is a violation of the social network's terms of use.

Facebook responded by saying it is "exploring additional measures to best combat the problem". It goes on to say that this could include measure such as "reducing or removing this type of content from recommendations, including Groups You Should Join, and demoting it in search results, while also ensuring that higher quality and more authoritative information is available".

Schiff has also written to Google about the issue, as YouTube is home to a large amount of misleading anti-vaxxer content.

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