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Instagram to Block Anti-Vaxxer Hashtags

More censorship

Readers know I am 100% against the so-called “antivax” movement and feel it’s a major threat to public health. But this kind of ham-handed censorship is just going to make the problem worse, not better:

Instagram said Thursday it plans to block a slew of anti-vaccine hashtags amid an ongoing crackdown on medical misinformation on the platform.

The company, which is owned by Facebook, shared its plans after media outlets inquired about anti-vaccine misinformation continuing to spread on the social media giant’s platforms.

Facebook three weeks ago unveiled plans to combat anti-vaccine content, including a pledge that it would no longer promote anti-vaccine posts on Instagram’s search and “explore” features.

The Atlantic and CNN on Thursday reported that Facebook and Instagram’s search functions still recommend vaccine-related misinformation, including groups and hashtags that associate vaccinations with autism, a claim that scientists and experts have categorically debunked.

“As part of our work to address health-related misinformation on Instagram, we’re looking at ways to minimize recommendations of this content and accounts that post it across Instagram – including in ‘Suggested For You’, Explore and hashtags,” an Instagram spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday evening.

The spokesperson said the platform’s planned “short-term measures” will include blocking hashtags associated with “known health-related misinformation including #vaccinescauseautism, #vaccinesarepoison, and #vaccinescauseids.”

As of Thursday evening, those hashtags had not yet been blocked.

 
Doomberg

Written by Doomberg

I am Doomberg, one of the original founding members of Sparta Report, and have been here since the beginning. I am an insatiable news junkie and enjoy reading and writing about the US territories, the Caribbean, video games, smartphones, and of course conservative politics in general.

I also really like pictures of gas stations and claim full responsibility for the silly gas station motif. I'm presently trapped behind enemy lines in a blue state with no hope of escape! The ride never ends.

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