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Twitter and Facebook work to block anti-vax misinformation

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If you search for the word ‘vaccines’ in Twitter, the first thing you see from today is a post from the US Department of Health and Human Services pointing you to reliable health information instead of misinformation from the anti-vax adherents.

Twitter says it now has a new tool in ‘search’ prompting users to head to vaccines.org, which is run by informed officials and health professionals. Social media companies like Facebook and Twitter are facing intense pressure from lawmakers to remove anti-vaccination propaganda from their platforms. The push-back is coming from officials and netizens.

The tool shows up on Android, iOS, Twitter’s mobile site, and on the newly designed desktop site in the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and Korea – more countries soon.

Twitter has used a similar tool that prompts users who search for terms related to suicide to contact a hotline for help. According to the blog post, Twitter intends to extend this tool to other health-related search terms in the future.

Last week, it was announced that Instagram would hide search results for anti-vax hashtags on its platform, effectively blocking any associated content. Two months ago Facebook announced it would also work to curb vaccine misinformation.

 

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