Facebook to help people find out where and when they'll be vaccinated - this is how it'll work

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 29: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law on Online Platforms and Market Power in the Rayburn House office Building, July 29, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mandel Ngan-Pool/Getty Images)
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Judiciary Subcommittee in July 2020 (Photo by Mandel Ngan-Pool/Getty Images)

Facebook is launching a new tool which will help users find out when (and where) they can get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Starting from this week, users will find links to the NHS website within the social network’s Covid-19 Information Centre page.

The page offers advice on their eligibility and how they can arrange a jab.

The company also announced a new clampdown on ‘fake news’ surrounding the pandemic, following consultations with health authorities.

Watch: Facebook to take down false vaccine claims

Facebook will now remove posts suggesting Covid-19 is man-made, and claims that wearing a face mask does not help prevent the virus spreading.

Read more: Facebook bans anti-vaccination adverts

The company will also block posts claiming that vaccines are toxic, dangerous, cause autism, or saying it is safer to get the disease than to get the vaccine.

Facebook says that it is the largest campaign worldwide promoting authoritative Covid-19 vaccine information.

The social network is also offering health authorities an extra £87.7 million worth of advertising credits, which will help the NHS reach tens of millions of people with important public health information.

Read more: Mark Zuckerberg ‘has too much control’

Last summer Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke about his fears that other countries may emulate China’s regulation of the internet.

In a video conversation with European Union Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton, Zuckerberg said, “Just to be blunt about it, I think there is a model coming out of countries like China that tend to have very different values than Western countries that are more democratic.”

Watch: Apple CEO slams social media in Facebook fight

Zuckerberg spoke of his willingness to work with Western democracies to create rules around data privacy.

Zuckerberg also praised the European Union’s Data Protection Regulation, which regulates how personal data may be used within the EU.

Read more: Coronavirus - Facebook extends working from home until 2021

Zuckerberg said, “I don’t think that there’s a question that there’s going to be regulation. I think the question is, whose framework is going to win around the world?”

Thierry Breton warned Zuckerberg that his social media firm and other tech giants may be subjected to tough rules if they do not step up efforts to take down disinformation.

“When you are the CEO, at the end of the day, you are the only one to be responsible, no one else,” Breton said during an online event organised by the Centre on Regulation in Europe (CERRE).

Regulators around the world have urged social platforms such as Facebook, Google and Twitter to do more to stop the flow of disinformation, especially coronavirus-related fake news.

“It’s a huge issue. We have discussions with many persons including Mark and I really appreciate the efforts. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t,” Breton said.

“At the end of the day, the mission of the CEO is to listen to everyone, then to take a decision. At the end of the day, it will be Mark who will be responsible and nobody else.”

Watch: Covid-19 vaccine myths debunked