Facebook’s New Move to Fight Vaccine Misinformation: Brainstorm Health

September 5, 2019, 10:48 PM UTC

Good afternoon, readers.

Facebook is still trying to stem the flood of vaccine misinformation spread through its platform. The social media giant announced a new tweak that builds on its existing features to downplay spurious and sensationalist vaccine claims: A pop-up window that directs users to authoritative public health sources.

Under this new feature, a Facebook user who searches for information on vaccines will see a pop-up with links to the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

“Looking for Vaccine Info?” the pop-up box asks. “When it comes to health, everyone wants reliable, up-to-date information. Learn why the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends vaccinations to prevent many diseases.”

That’s certainly a step in the right direction. Previously, Facebook moved to address ads on its platform that specifically target anti-vaxxer groups and to lower rankings for pages that promote such misinformation (though, it should be noted, the company took action after some heavy public and Congressional criticism).

But tackling vaccine misinformation on social media will still prove a difficult task given the profound difficulty of changing some people’s minds on the issue.

On another note… Check out Fortune‘s latest newsletter, The Loop. This weekly publication explores the business of sustainability and how executives approach environmental causes and their energy needs. Suffice to say, that’s a pretty critical issue for both the planet’s and public’s health. You can sign up here, and I hope you do.

Read on for the day’s news.

Sy Mukherjee, @the_sy_guy, sayak.mukherjee@fortune.com


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