Facebook Demotes Miracle Cures and Other Health Disinformation

Facebook Demotes Miracle Cures and Other Health Disinformation

Facebook Demotes Miracle Cures And Other Health Disinformation

It &# x27; s the kind of clickbait that can kill you. And now, it &# x27; s going to be a little harder to find on Facebook.

In a switching meant to minimize the spread of misinforming health-related content, Facebook announced Tuesday that it had made an algorithm tweak to demote” sensational or misleading” posts around the topic.

In a Newsroom post, the company disclosed that the freshly announced News Feed change actually softly went into effect last month, targeting posts attaining “exaggerated” health, nutrition, and fitness asserts as well as content promoting the sale of pertained products and services.

Facebook says that it now evaluates health-related posts to see if they overstate their claims or misinform users, as in the case of” making a sensational assert about a miracle cure .”

The company also said that it will examine promotional posts selling unproven health and wellness products, such as weight loss pills.

Facebook has come under flame recently for the viral spread of “anti-vaxx” content circulating potentially deadly medical misinformation across its platform. In March, the company confronted concerns around misinforming inoculation posts, announcing that it would downrank groups and posts sharing such content to make it more difficult to find, both on Facebook and Instagram.

In making the decision to hide or minimize health misinformation on Facebook rather than remove it outright, the company is opting to treat this kind of content like clickbait, an annoying phenomenon but one usually with lower real world stakes. The methodology is the same too–Facebook identifies key phrases associated with bogus health claims and uses these phrases to identify and downlink future content.

Without sufficient human moderators dedicated to the task, an over-reliance on algorithmic filtering will always have blind spots. For example, the search” Are inoculations safe ?” yields medically accurate outcomes, but a search of popular anti-vaxx figure Andrew Wakefield leads to multiple Facebook pages with tens of thousands of adherents, one of which made almost 20 posts casting doubt on inoculation safety within the last 24 hours.

From that page, Facebook users are encouraged to like a host of other anti-vaccine pages, including” Vaccine facts” and the Alabama Coalition for Vaccine Rights, a group posting links denouncing public figures who” normalize inoculation trauma .” For users who &# x27; ve already dipped their toes into conspiracy hypothesis, discovering more posts and pages that confirm their existing biases remains easy.

Facebook regularly updates its rules to reduce potentially dangerous content, but those policy changes can be a blunt instrument. As Vice reports, in Facebook &# x27; s effort to eradicate opioid marketings on its platform, the company has also removed groups that support drug users and blocked ads for potentially life-saving fentanyl exam kits.

Health misinformation is one social media ill that isn &# x27; t unique to Facebook. Between the health and wellness SEO grab being waged in Google &# x27; s search results and viral YouTube culture, Google has an equal if not greater problem on its hands.

Among prominent social platforms, Pinterest is the only company that &# x27; s taken a hardline approach: It blocked search results related to inoculations wholly.

” It’s better not to serve those results than to lead people down what is like a recommendation rabbit hole ,” Pinterest Public Policy Manager Ifeoma Ozoma said of the decision.

Read more: www.thedailybeast.com

Facebook Demotes Miracle Cures And Other Health Disinformation
Facebook Demotes Miracle Cures And Other Health Disinformation
Facebook Demotes Miracle Cures And Other Health Disinformation
Facebook Demotes Miracle Cures And Other Health Disinformation
Facebook Demotes Miracle Cures And Other Health Disinformation

Facebook Demotes Miracle Cures And Other Health Disinformation

Facebook Demotes Miracle Cures And Other Health Disinformation

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