UN health agency welcomes Facebook pledge to stop vaccine misinformation from going viral

UN Photo/Manuel Elias The World Health Organization is working with Facebook to address the proliferation of misinformation about vaccines on the social media platform. (September 2019)

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday welcomed Facebook’s pledge to ensure users can separate fact from fiction when it comes to vaccines, across its platforms from Facebook Search, to Groups, Pages and forums.

Following months of discussions between WHO and Facebook on the spread of inaccuracies when it comes to immunization, the social media giant has vowed to direct millions of users to “WHO’s accurate and reliable vaccine information in several languages, to ensure that vital health messages reach people who need them most”, WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebryesus said in a statement.

“Vaccine misinformation is a major threat to global health that could reverse decades of progress made in tackling preventable diseases”, WHO warned. Deadly and debilitating diseases such as diphtheria, hepatitis, polio and measles can be effectively prevented through vaccination.

WHO ranks vaccine reluctance, or hesitancy, among the top ten threats to global health in 2019, citing the recent resurgence in Measles this year, which saw a 30 per cent increases in cases worldwide.

With the anti-vaccination movement gaining momentum online, immunization rates have plummeted globally as much in wealthy areas as in developing countries—media reports have cited vaccination numbers in California’s Los Angeles as low as those in Chad and South Sudan.

WHO estimates that Immunization prevents 2-3 million deaths per year, and additional illnesses and disabilities from 26 vaccine-preventable diseases.

Mr. Ghebreyesus made it clear that “major digital organizations have a responsibility to their users—to ensure that they can access facts about vaccines and health.”

“It would be great to see social and search platforms come together to leverage their combined reach,” he maintained.

Just last month, the social media platform Pinterest announced it would restrict vaccine search results only to major health groups, including WHO, and the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Digital actors,” should do more to ensure the world knows “that #VaccinesWork,” WHO said, highlighting the theme of this year’s World Immunization Week, celebrated in April.

The aim is to support innovation that backs healthy behaviours, the Director-General said, “to save lives and protect the vulnerable,” adding that many children have parents who fully support vaccination as a key health measure, but “currently lack access to these life-saving tools.”

The move by Facebook “must be matched by tangible steps by governments and the health sector to promote trust in vaccination and respond to the needs and concerns of parents”, Mr. Ghebryesus stressed.

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  1. […] UN health agency welcomes Facebook pledge to stop vaccine misinformation from going viral  The European Sting […]

  2. […] The World Well being Group (WHO) on Thursday welcomed Facebook’s pledge to substantiate customers can separate truth from fiction in phrases of vaccines, across its platforms from Facebook Search, to Teams, Pages and boards. Following months of discussions between WHO and Facebook on the spread of inaccuracies in phrases of immunization, the social media huge has vowed to converse hundreds of thousands of customers to “WHO’s true and legit vaccine data in quite a bit of languages, to make certain valuable successfully being messages attain folk who need them most”, WHO Director-Overall, Tedros Adhanom Ghebryesus acknowledged in a press liberate. “Vaccine misinformation is a most famous threat to global successfully being that would reverse decades of progress made in tackling preventable illnesses”, WHO warned. Lethal and debilitating illnesses similar to diphtheria, hepatitis, polio and measles will even be successfully prevented by method of vaccination. WHO ranks vaccine reluctance, or hesitancy, among the cease ten threats to global successfully being in 2019, citing the sizzling resurgence in Measles this year, which noticed a 30 per cent increases in instances worldwide. With the anti-vaccination circulate gaining momentum online, immunization charges possess plummeted globally as famous in affluent areas as in constructing worldwide locations—media reports possess cited vaccination numbers in California’s Los Angeles as slight as these in Chad and South Sudan. WHO estimates that Immunization prevents 2-3 million deaths per year, and additional illnesses and disabilities from 26 vaccine-preventable illnesses. Mr. Ghebreyesus made it particular that “most famous digital organizations possess a responsibility to their customers—to make certain they’ll access details about vaccines and successfully being.” “It will seemingly be colossal to interrogate social and search platforms near together to leverage their blended attain,” he maintained. Pretty final month, the social media platform Pinterest introduced it would possibly most likely most likely possibly restrict vaccine search results handiest to most famous successfully being teams, at the side of WHO, and the US Center for Illness Defend an eye on and Prevention (CDC). “Digital actors,” should tranquil originate extra to substantiate the arena knows “that #VaccinesWork,” WHO acknowledged, highlighting the theme of this year’s World Immunization Week, smartly-known in April. The procedure is to toughen innovation that backs wholesome behaviours, the Director-Overall acknowledged, “to save quite a bit of lives and offer protection to the inclined,” at the side of that many teenagers possess folk who fully toughen vaccination as a key successfully being measure, but “at this time lack access to those existence-saving instruments.” The switch by Facebook “must be matched by tangible steps by governments and the successfully being sector to advertise belief in vaccination and reply to the wants and issues of folk”, Mr. Ghebryesus wired. Read burly article […]

  3. […] The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday welcomed Facebook’s pledge to ensure users can separate fact from fiction when it comes to vaccines, across its platforms from Facebook Search, to Groups, Pages and forums. Following months of discussions between WHO and Facebook on the spread of inaccuracies when it comes to immunization, the social media giant has vowed to direct millions of users to “WHO’s accurate and reliable vaccine information in several languages, to ensure that vital health messages reach people who need them most”, WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebryesus said in a statement. “Vaccine misinformation is a major threat to global health that could reverse decades of progress made in tackling preventable diseases”, WHO warned. Deadly and debilitating diseases such as diphtheria, hepatitis, polio and measles can be effectively prevented through vaccination. WHO ranks vaccine reluctance, or hesitancy, among the top ten threats to global health in 2019, citing the recent resurgence in Measles this year, which saw a 30 per cent increases in cases worldwide. With the anti-vaccination movement gaining momentum online, immunization rates have plummeted globally as much in wealthy areas as in developing countries—media reports have cited vaccination numbers in California’s Los Angeles as low as those in Chad and South Sudan. WHO estimates that Immunization prevents 2-3 million deaths per year, and additional illnesses and disabilities from 26 vaccine-preventable diseases. Mr. Ghebreyesus made it clear that “major digital organizations have a responsibility to their users—to ensure that they can access facts about vaccines and health.” “It would be great to see social and search platforms come together to leverage their combined reach,” he maintained. Just last month, the social media platform Pinterest announced it would restrict vaccine search results only to major health groups, including WHO, and the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Digital actors,” should do more to ensure the world knows “that #VaccinesWork,” WHO said, highlighting the theme of this year’s World Immunization Week, celebrated in April. The aim is to support innovation that backs healthy behaviours, the Director-General said, “to save lives and protect the vulnerable,” adding that many children have parents who fully support vaccination as a key health measure, but “currently lack access to these life-saving tools.” The move by Facebook “must be matched by tangible steps by governments and the health sector to promote trust in vaccination and respond to the needs and concerns of parents”, Mr. Ghebryesus stressed. Read More […]

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