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Tue Feb 12, 2019, 10:49 AM

Facebook under pressure to halt rise of anti-vaccination groups [View all]


Experts are calling on company to counter closed groups where members can post misinformation without challenge

Ed Pilkington and Jessica Glenza in New York

Facebook is under pressure to stem the rise of anti-vaccination groups spreading false information about the dangers of life-saving vaccines while peddling unfounded alternative treatments such as high doses of vitamin

So-called “anti-vaxxers” are operating on Facebook in closed groups, where members have to be approved in advance. By barring access to others, they are able to serve undiluted misinformation without challenge.

The groups are large and sophisticated. Stop Mandatory Vaccination has more than 150,000 approved members. Vitamin C Against Vaccine Damage claims that large doses of the vitamin can “heal” people from vaccine damage, even though vaccines are safe.

Health experts are calling on Facebook to do more to counter these echo chambers. Dr Wendy Sue Swanson, spokeswoman of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said: “Facebook should prioritise dealing with the threat to human health when falsehoods and misinformation are shared. This isn’t just self-harm, it’s community harm.”


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Reply Facebook under pressure to halt rise of anti-vaccination groups [View all]
G_j Feb 2019 OP
Johnny2X2X Feb 2019 #1
EllieBC Feb 2019 #2
Johnny2X2X Feb 2019 #4
EllieBC Feb 2019 #9
mr_lebowski Feb 2019 #3
tymorial Feb 2019 #6
mr_lebowski Feb 2019 #7
ck4829 Feb 2019 #5
c-rational Feb 2019 #8