Facebook announced on Tuesday that it will be banning anti-vax ads while continuing to permit material opposing government policies that promote vaccines.
“Now, if an ad explicitly discourages someone from getting a vaccine, we’ll reject it”, said the company’s head of health, Kang-Xing Jin, and its director of product management, Rob Leathern, in a blog post.
The social media site said that it would remove ads “that discourage people from getting a vaccine”. It also announced the creation of a “new flu vaccine information campaign on Facebook” and that it would work alongside “global health partners on campaigns to increase immunisation rates”.
The move follows widespread concern about the public health impact of the anti-vaxxer movement, as well as worries that social media is aiding in the promotion of their posts.
Facebook said there would unlike be a publicly available Covid-19 vaccine for some time, but that the coronavirus outbreak increased the need for other health procedures such as flu jabs.
The new ban comes after a new series of policy decisions were announced by the company in recent weeks to rid its social networks to remove misleading and false content such as Holocaust denialism - the ban of which was announced earlier this week.
Last week, pages and groups pushing the unverified QAnon conspiracy theory were removed, as well as a temporary ban of political adverts following the US presidential election on 3 November.
Last month, ads that attempted to delegitimise the results of the US election were also banned, and a policy introduced to halt the growth of groups providing users health advice.