Mark Zuckerberg announced Monday that Facebook will include labels on all posts discussing COVID-19 vaccines.
The company rolled out the new labels to prevent the spread of misinformation, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a blog post. Some users have criticized Facebook over the course of the pandemic for its use of misinformation labels and bans in response to disputed information.
Facebook will add warning labels to all posts discussing COVID-19 vaccines on that platform and Instagram, which it also owns. The labels will “contain credible information about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines from the World Health Organization.” Facebook removed more than 2 million posts allegedly containing misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines since it changed its rules in February, the post added.
Users have criticized Facebook for its moderation policies over the course of the pandemic. Its fact-checkers labeled a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) opinion piece from a Johns Hopkins University professor arguing that Americans will be able to return to normal life by April 2021 as “missing context.” Posts labeled “missing context” are circulated less on Facebook. The fact-checker who downgraded the post was part of a World Health Organization initiative, WSJ noted. (RELATED: Facebook Censoring Anti-Lockdown Protesters. Donald Trump Jr. Calls It ‘Chilling And Disturbing’)
A group that received funding from Facebook has downplayed the lab leak hypothesis, a theory claiming that COVID-19 escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The Digital Forensics Research Lab, a group associated with the Atlantic Council, received at least $1 million from Facebook in 2019. The research lab released a report on Feb. 15, 2021 claiming suggestions that COVID-19 was “the result of a lab accident” were “outright false narratives.” The WHO originally dismissed the lab-leak theory of origin, but stated in February 2021 that it should be investigated further.
The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Check Your Fact is an official Facebook fact-checker.