Facebook bans anti-vaccination ads, but there are still some running on the platform

I’ve wondered how anti-vaxxers feel about vaccines when it comes to COVID-19, but it seems like they pretty much feel the same way. There are paid ads on Facebook by anti-vaccine groups, especially in the United States—and the platform is only now announcing a ban on them.

“Our goal is to help messages about the safety and efficacy of vaccines reach a broad group of people, while prohibiting ads with misinformation that could harm public health efforts. We don’t want these ads on our platform,” Facebook said in a blog post.

There are still ads by pages like “Texans For Vaccine Choice” currently running on Facebook. “Texans For Vaccine Choice” spent a total of USD 3,835 (RM15,899.91) on ads.

While Facebook is finally putting their foot down on public health, they have been letting anti-vaccine ads run for a really long time. Buzzfeed News reported of the problem in January of this year.

Besides enforcing the new policy “over the next few days”, Facebook will be launching a new flu vaccine information campaign, which will encourage people get a flu shot every year. They will also be working with public health partners like WHO “to reach as many people as possible with public health messaging”.

“Access to reliable information is important to ensure uptake of safe and effective vaccines. We welcome Facebook’s update of its vaccine ad policies to prohibit ads that discourage people from getting vaccinated,” said Aleksandra Kuzmanovic, Social Media Manager at WHO.

In late July, Facebook was under fire for not taking down a viral ‘news’ video about dangerous coronavirus conspiracy theories and treatments fast enough. The video in question claimed that hydroxychloroquine is a COVID-19 ‘cure’ and said that masks were unnecessary to fight the virus.

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Dzamira Dzafri