by Slad

Instagram will now BLOCK hashtags that promote anti-vaccination misinformation

May 11, 2019 in News by Slad

An example of a post under #vaccinetruth, a hashtag banned by Instagram earlier this week

source: www.dailymail.co.uk
By ANNIE PALMER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

Instagram will now BLOCK hashtags that promote anti-vaccination misinformation

  • Hashtags with a high percentage of verifiably false information will be blocked
  • This includes hashtags like #vaccinescauseautism and #vaccinescauseaids
  • Vaccine misinformation will also be removed from the Explore page and search
  • Meanwhile, vaccine misinformation remains virtually rampant on Instagram
 Instagram has struggled to beat back content promoting vaccination conspiracy theories, so it’s taking new steps to prevent misinformation around this topic from spreading further.

The company will now begin to block hashtags that show consistently false information about vaccines, such as #vaccinescauseautism, #vaccinescauseaids and #vaccinesarepoison.

Once a hashtag has been blocked, if a user attempts to search that term, it will no longer return any results when users click on it.

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Instagram will now begin to block hashtags that show a certain amount of vaccine misinformation, such as #vaccinescauseautism, #vaccinescauseaids and #vaccinesarepoison

Instagram will now begin to block hashtags that show a certain amount of vaccine misinformation, such as #vaccinescauseautism, #vaccinescauseaids and #vaccinesarepoison

Instagram has widened the scope of blocked anti-vaccination hashtags after CNNfound that hashtags such as #VaccinesKill were being used to spread misinformation, despite the company’s announcement that it would no longer allow hashtags like #vaccinescauseAIDS.

 The crackdown will effect hashtags that contain a high amount of known vaccine misinformation, Instagram said.

Instagram declined to say what threshold a hashtag needs to reach before it is a candidate for removal, as it doesn’t want users to be able to game the system.

Known vaccine misinformation refers to vaccine hoaxes that have been identified by groups including the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

These groups have publicly stated that vaccines don’t cause autism, so Instagram is blocking associated hashtags like #vaccinescauseautism.

Human moderators across Instagram’s safety and security team are monitoring vaccination hashtags and reviewing whether their content is verifiably false before blocking them from the app, the firm said.

An example of a post under #vaccinetruth, a hashtag banned by Instagram earlier this week

The hashtag #vaccineskillandinjure surfaces posts with verifiably false vaccine information (pictured)

Despite the move, Hashtags including #vaccinetruth, #vaccineskillandmaim and #vaccinescauseautismreadthestudies showed numerous posts containing false information

As part of the move, vaccine misinformation will not be shown in Instagram's Explore, hashtag and search pages. Users will still be allowed to express anti-vaccination views, however

As part of the move, vaccine misinformation will not be shown in Instagram’s Explore, hashtag and search pages. Users will still be allowed to express anti-vaccination views, however

As part of the move, vaccine misinformation will not be shown in Instagram’s Explore, hashtag and search pages.

Users will still be allowed to express anti-vaccination views on the platform.

Instagram also plans to begin showing a pop-up message whenever people search for certain anti-vaccination terms on the platform.

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