Facebook starts crackdown on fraud miracle cures, fake health news on its platform

By Faisal Saeed on
July 3, 2019
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The social media giant Facebook has said that it is going to start a crackdown against all sensational health claims, supposed miracle cures, and fake health news on its platform. The company will start de-prioritizing content around these fake topics in the News Feed.

Facebook’s product manager Travis Yeh, wrote that the policy will focus on those health topics that mislead users, by claiming to have a miracle cure for deadly diseases and earn profit through those users. The new regulations will also fight against promotional materials for products that have health-related claims, such as weight loss pills.

Yeh said, “We know that people don’t like posts that are sensational or spammy, and misleading health content is particularly bad for our community”.

The announcement by the tech giant came after the Wall Street Journal posted a story claiming that both Facebook and YouTube contain an excessive number of news and ads presenting fake miracle cures for cancer and other deadly diseases. Facebook has also mentioned that any exaggerated or misleading health claims about vaccines would also be removed from the platform after the crackdown.

The social media giant, however, did not respond to queries about whether multi-level marketing companies who sell health products and vaccines not approved by the Food and Drug Administration would be de-prioritized as well.

Facebook previously in March announced that it would take action against all those ads and news promoting anti-vaccination content, but the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook was still running anti-vaccination ads on its platform in May. Moreover, Instagram was also recommending anti-vaccination content to its users, which kind of creates a big doubt on the tech giant’s commitment regarding the removal of fraud content from its platform.

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