Battling fake news on social media
Fake news and information online have partially fueled vaccine hesitancy worldwide. Social media struck hard against misinformation on Thursday with the removal of 24 million worth of fake content related to the pandemic and vaccines. Meta, the company overseeing social media sites Facebook and Instagram, made the announcement through its Misinformation Policy lead in the Asia Pacific region.
Alice Budisatrijo of Meta’s Product Policy team added that 195 million pieces of content for COVID-19 misinformation have been labeled. She credited fact-checkers around the world for this development. Budisatrijo added that they “have connected more than two billion people from 189 countries with reliable health information via the COVID-19 information center and news feed pop-outs.”
Misinformation about COVID-19 and the vaccines have been a huge stumbling block for the Department of Health and the Philippine government. Some medical practitioners have even claimed that the pandemic is nothing but an ordinary disease. Others have insisted that vaccines are dangerous, despite them being certified safe by health experts.
The actions taken by Meta will hopefully put a bigger dent in misinformation and lower vaccine hesitancy even further.
Vaccine hesitancy in the Philippines lessened prior to the Omicron surge. The results of a survey conducted by OCTA Research Group reflect this. Aversion to getting vaccinated dropped from 40% in September to 11% in December 2021. The recent Omicron surge saw positive cases in the Philippines reach record numbers. Reported cases have been gradually dropping after reaching an all-time high of 39,004 on January 15.
False information about the pandemic and vaccines on social media are partially to blame for people hesitating. Meta just removed 24 million worth of fake content from Facebook and Instagram. The company teamed up with fact-checkers around the world to clean up misinformation on the pandemic and vaccines.
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