Facebook is taking a new approach to misinformation—and let us just hope it works this time around. As a matter of fact, most of the approaches in use have not really brought about the expected result—and no wonder we keep seeing new updates virtually every other week. This time around, Facebook is rolling out new vaccine pop-up windows. The new pop-up windows, according to CNN, will also be available on Instagram, and will appear when a user searches for vaccine-related content, visit vaccine-related Facebook groups and pages, or taps a vaccine-related hashtag on Instagram.
The pop-up window will connect those living in the US to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for reliable information on vaccines. Those living outside the US, however, will be connected to the World Health Organization for credible information.
“We know that parents often turn to social media to access health information and connect with other parents, and it can be difficult to determine what is accurate and who the credible sources of information are,” said CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund per CNN. “Vaccine myths and misinformation is a shared responsibility and we applaud these efforts,” she added.
Speaking on the new renewed efforts aimed at combatting vaccine misinformation, the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement per the CNN:
“The World Health Organization and Facebook have been in discussions for several months to ensure people will be able to access authoritative information on vaccines and reduce the spread of inaccuracies.”
“Vaccine misinformation is a major threat to global health that could reverse decades of progress made in tackling preventable diseases. Many debilitating and deadly diseases can be effectively prevented by vaccines,” he said. “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.”
Just last week, Pinterest started giving users exact information about vaccines and their safety when they enter relevant search term. The world’s catalog of ideas announced this in a new update where it said information sourced from various scientific organizations would be surfaced when relevant keyword is entered during search. Keywords such as “measles” or “vaccine safety” would provide answers sourced from various organizations.
Listed among organizations that information would be sourced from include the World Health Organization [WHO], the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], the American Academy of Pediatrics [AAP], and the WHO-established Vaccine Safety Net; a network of websites that is responsible for providing vaccine safety information in different languages.
The update is available on web, iOS and Android for English-speaking users. Pinterest says it would continue to expand the feature to other searches and in more languages; though, no specific timeline was given. The company also said it is working with the aforementioned organizations to create compelling images about vaccinations, which could of course have a better chance of being shared.