Almost 16M+ pieces of content taken down by Facebook for spreading Vaccine misinformation

Facebook head of health Kang Xing Jin recently provided an update on the initiatives taken by the Social Network Giant. While acknowledging the goals of President Joe Biden of getting up to 70% of the adults in United States to get vaccinated with at least one shot of Covid-19 Vaccine by 4th of July and reaching 160 million fully vaccinated US citizens by this date. In a Newsroom post, Jin said that over 3.3 million users have so far used the Vaccine Finder tool which came out back on 11th March. This tool works in partnership with Boston Children’s Hospital so the user can get themselves required appointment information or call a service provider.

The social media giant, Facebook is also providing some reliable information related to the eligibility for people on getting vaccinated. This information is being shared via News Feed alerts and the Information Center for Covid-19. Jin further said that according to the reports of West Virginia’s Department of Health and Human Resources, vaccine registration has increased significantly as a result to the notifications being run by Facebook.

Since January 2021, Facebook has issued upto $30 million in ad credits to help both government and non government organization in reaching users with information related to the vaccines. This has resulted in 10 billion ad impressions all around the world according to Jin. Over 5 million users worldwide have used the vaccine profiles frames and stickers provided by Facebook. And almost 50% of the users from United States have seen them. Similarly, on Instagram, these stickers have been used by over 7 million times since April and almost one quarter of the US accounts have seen them.

Jin also told that Facebook has taken down more than 16 million posted content from all the apps linked with it as this content was spreading misinformation related to vaccines and was found to be violating Covid-19 rules. If a content is not spreading misinformation, but it can slowdown the vaccination process by discouraging users, then such content will also be removed from Facebook and Instagram recommendations. This platform has been collaborating with the University of Maryland as well as with Carnegie Mellon University, since April 2020. This collaboration was done for conducting surveys to gather more insights about the Covid-19 symptoms, testing and vaccination rate. And according to Jin, these efforts are paying off as the acceptance rate for Vaccine is rising up worldwide.

The acceptance rate for vaccine in US is 10% among adults, this figure has risen up to 26% for Black adults and 14% for the Hispanic adults. The survey also showed that in April, 36% of the adults who wanted to get vaccinated but couldn’t get it done felt uninformed about the procedure while only 22% reported to have appointments. Those who were hesitating in getting themselves vaccinated were more concerned about the side effects and showed distrust in government


Lastly, Jim said that while they are happy with the positive trends in surveys related to vaccine acceptance and the work they have done so far, but still the data shows that efforts need to continue for the populations with lower acceptance rate for vaccine.

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