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Facebook stepping up vaccine misinformation efforts

Facebook is starting a new initiative aimed at helping people better understand the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine. Action News Now Scott Rates talked with a spokesperson from the social media company, asking about the spread of misinformation.

Posted: Feb 10, 2021 11:26 AM

Facebook says it’s going all in to block the spread of bogus vaccine claims.

In practice, that means the social network plans to ban a new bunch of false claims in addition to the old bunch of false claims about vaccines or COVID-19.

Among Facebook’s new targets: claims include that vaccines aren’t effective or that they’re toxic, dangerous or cause autism, all of which have been thoroughly debunked.

The platform had already prohibited users from spreading falsehoods such as: masks are ineffective; vaccines cause infertility; vaccines contain tracking microchips; and vaccines don’t actually exist.

Facebook’s Data for Good program is providing new insights on vaccine attitudes to guide the distribution of the vaccine and increase immunization rates.

The symptom survey project, created by Carnegie Mellon University and has received over 50 million responses to date, has been expanded to understand which geographic areas are the most reluctant to receive the vaccine and could hold us back from reaching herd immunity.

For example, in California, the vaccine is currently only largely available to healthcare workers, long term care residents, and people over 65. The map shows, however, that 75% of Butte County and 66% of Shasta County residents would choose to receive a COVID vaccine if it were offered to them today. Click here to view the interactive CMU map for California.

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The first of two storms moved over northern California late last night and this morning, but our weather has quieted for now. More rain showers will fall Saturday, but heavier rain and snow with stronger wind arrives Sunday.
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