Facebook along with Google announced that it is taking more aggressive action against medical misinformation on its platform to save millions lives from clickbait or spam.
Facebook will “down-rank” posts that it believes contain health misinformation, meaning those posts will appear in the news feeds of fewer users, and less prominently.
The down-ranking will also apply to some posts from Facebook groups devoted to natural treatments, which will show up less often in the news feeds of group members.
The down-ranking process will use keywords and phrases that commonly appear in posts containing exaggerated or false health claims, but tend not to appear in posts containing accurate information on the same topics.
“Misleading health content is particularly bad for our community,” Travis Yeh, a Facebook product manager said.
“So, last month we made two ranking updates to reduce (1) posts with exaggerated or sensational health claims and (2) posts attempting to sell products or services based on health-related claims.”
Facebook has always said that its mission is to connect people. In the case of medical misinformation, it has been a place where vulnerable and desperate people can connect with those who promise to know how to “cure” any disease .
However, those who prefer to navigate directly to group pages will still be able to easily access posts, including those containing medical misinformation.