Facebook cracks down on bogus ‘health cures’ after anti-vax purge

Rob Waugh
Contributor
Mark Zuckerberg's social network is clamping down on bogus health content (Photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

In recent years, Facebook has become notorious for misleading health content such as ‘anti-vaxx’ content - and supposed ‘miracle cures’ which actually do nothing.

But Mark Zuckerberg’s company is to start stamping down on supposed health products which don’t actually have health benefits.

The move comes in the wake of moves in March to clamp down on anti-vaccine content.

It’s doing so by analysing posts to see if they exaggerate or mislead - or are trying to ‘push products’ based on claims related to health.

The company said it achieves this by spotting out phrases commonly seen in posts to flag up potential content with sensational health claims or promoting products with health-related claims.

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"In our ongoing efforts to improve the quality of information in news feed, we consider ranking changes based on how they affect people, publishers and our community as a whole," explained Travis Yeh, a product manager at Facebook.

Facebook previously clamped down on anti-vaccine content (Photo credit should read FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images)

"We know that people don't like posts that are sensational or spammy, and misleading health content is particularly bad for our community."

Facebook warned Group owners to avoid posting about health issues that exaggerate or mislead people, but said Pages won't see any significant changes to their distribution in the News Feed.

The move follows a wider effort to clamp down on misinformation, with anti-vaccination content made less visible from March.

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