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Instagram is attempting to crack down on misinformation about vaccines

Instagram on mobile phone

05/27/2019

(New Scientist) – Instagram is cracking down on misinformation about vaccinations by blocking hashtags that include verifiably false information about the subject.

The Facebook-owned platform already blocks obvious hashtag terms used to spread false information, such as #vaccinescauseautism, #vaccinescauseaids and #vaccinesarepoison, but its policy is now being extended to address vaccine hashtags that seem innocent on the surface.

For example, a hashtag like #vaccines1234 does not contain anything alarming in its wording, but if it is found to be used in a number of posts to promote verifiably false posts about vaccines it will be added to the block list.

When a hashtag is blocked, users are presented with no results when searching for it.

Instagram’s approach will only targets misinformation about vaccines and not anti-vax opinions, which it says is not something it would take action on.

Read the full story at newscientist.com


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