United Nations: Measles ‘misinformation campaigns’ through social media, fuel rising toll. “Measles deaths and infections in 2019 are set to ‘substantially exceed’ last year’s toll when more than 142,000 people died from the preventable disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.”
The Irish Times: Social media companies ‘must do more’ on vaccine misinformation – Harris. “Minister for Health Simon Harris said social media companies have ‘much more work’ to do to combat anti-vaccination misinformation on their platforms. Vaccine hesitancy has been identified by the World Health Organisation as one of the 10 leading threats to global health in 2019.” I don’t know why I thought anti-vaxxing was a social issue limited only to America.
Radio Pakistan: Plan devised to make Pakistan polio-free by next year: Zafar. “Special Assistant to the Prime Minster on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza says government is taking strict measures to regulate vaccine-related harmful content on social media to address the misconceptions regarding polio campaigns…. The Special Assistant said rumours and propaganda spread over social media platforms has been fueling misconceptions about the vaccine and accelerated refusal cases.”
EurekAlert: Inoculating against the spread of viral misinformation. “In a year that has seen the largest measles outbreak in the US in more than two decades, the role of social media in giving a platform to unscientific anti-vaccine messages and organizations has become a flashpoint.”
The Daily Beast: Google and Twitter Approved Our BS Anti-Vaxx Ads. “Social media companies have pledged to crack down on anti-vaccination messages that have been blamed for this year’s historic measles outbreaks. But a test by The Daily Beast reveals just how easy it is to place an ad filled with blatant medical misinformation on some of the world’s biggest online platforms.”
NBC News: Anti-vaccination groups still crowdfunding on Facebook despite crackdown. “Activists planning to line California roadways with anti-vaccination billboards full of misinformation are paying for them through Facebook fundraisers, despite a platform-wide crackdown on such campaigns.”
KTIV: New Facebook feature directs vaccine searches to CDC website. Finally, a situation where I’m happy Facebook is ripping off another Web site (in this case, Pinterest). “Facebook is debuting a new feature to prevent the spread of anti-vaccine information. The company says educational pop-up windows will now appear when a user clicks on a vaccines-related page, hashtag or search.”