Facebook warns it may remove users who keep sharing false vaccine claims

Facebook is expanding its policy on removing false claims to include a greater variety of posts about vaccines, including ones about vaccines in general, not just the COVID-19 products. The company announced the expansion on which claims it will remove from the platform, explaining that this change follows consultations with the WHO and more.

In December, Facebook started removing some false claims about the COVID-19 vaccine, noting that it targeted ones 'debunked by public health experts.' The company has been criticized for the amount of misinformation that remains on the platform, however, including viral images making dangerous, false vaccine claims.

With this expansion, Facebook says it will now also remove posts that claim COVID-19 is a man-made or 'manufactured' virus, that the COVID-19 vaccines can't help prevent the disease, and claims that it is safer to get COVID-19 than to get one of the vaccines now authorized for use.

Likewise, Facebook will now remove content about vaccines in general, namely ones claiming that vaccines are dangerous, can cause autism, and/or that they're toxic. These new items join other claims that can get a post removed; the full list can be found on Facebook's Help Center here.

Facebook says that it will start enforcing this policy update immediately, noting that it will focus on accounts, Pages, and groups, ultimately expanding its enforcement of the change 'over the coming weeks.' Assuming an account, group, or Page continues to share such claims, Facebook says it may remove it entirely.