Facebook Planning to Censor Anti-vaccination Posts
Facebook is being pressured to censor misleading or “fake” information.
Officials believe information discouraging people from getting vaccines may have contributed to the recent outbreaks of measles. Adam Schiff, U.S. Representative for California’s 28th congressional district, sent a letter to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai, asking the companies to address the problem.
Facebook curates content based on the user’s interests. Recommended posts are displayed on the Facebook wall, based on what the Facebook algorithm deems most likely to engage the reader.
Bloomberg reports that Facebook responded to Adam Schiff’s letter by saying the company is “exploring additional measures to best combat the problem.” The company says it is considering removing anti-vaccine information from the recommendations feed, which will severely limit the post reach, “while also ensuring that higher quality and more authoritative information is available.” The company also says it may stop recommending groups with questionable content.
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YouTube is often criticized for pushing misinformation and has recently come under fire for promoting flat earth theories. Last month, Google’s YouTube algorithm adjusted how it recommends videos. The company says said it will stop recommending videos with “borderline content” that “misinforms users in harmful ways,” for example, videos that promote “a phony miracle cure for a serious illness.”
In related news, Pinterest blocked our website. When asked why this was their response: