After which there are lies which have the potential to actually kill.
Falling into this latter class are the spammy “miracle cures” for all the things from most cancers to autism that unfold like wildfire on websites like Facebook. These “treatments” are ineffective at greatest and lethal at worst. Now, Fb is finally trying to do one thing about them.
On Tuesday, Fb printed a blog post concerning the bogus well being content material that’s now pervasive on the location.
“People come together on Facebook to talk about, advocate for, and connect around things like nutrition, fitness, and health issues,” Fb Product Supervisor Travis Yeh wrote within the publish. “But in order to help people get accurate health information and the support they need, it’s imperative that we minimize health content that is sensational or misleading.”
To that finish, the corporate up to date its rating algorithms to put two sorts of content material decrease in folks’s Information Feeds:
– Sensationalist well being posts that make deceptive claims or tout “miracle cures,” and
– Posts that use health-related claims to advertise services or products, comparable to weight-loss drugs.
So far as sensationalist well being posts go, ones hawking bogus weight-loss drugs fall on the comparatively benign finish of the spectrum. However Fb’s additionally rife with posts encouraging folks to forgo proven cancer treatments in favor of nugatory dwelling treatments. Extremely harmful “autism cures” advising dad and mom to power their kids to drink chlorine dioxide, which is actually industrial bleach, are additionally standard with Fb’s customers.
[Yeah, you learn that appropriately: Ingesting bleach.]
And do we actually want to say the numerous anti-vaccine posts and teams which might be contributing to outbreaks of illnesses like measles worldwide?
Given the far-reaching implications of this shady well being content material, Fb is now underneath increasing pressure to do one thing about it — that means if its newly introduced rating modifications can’t successfully stem the medical misinformation tide, it’s going to want to seek out one thing else (or another person) that may.
READ MORE: Facebook, YouTube Overrun With Bogus Cancer-Treatment Claims [The Wall Road Journal]