MENLO PARK (REUTERS) - Facebook will start banning ads that discourage people from getting vaccinated, the social media company said on Tuesday (Oct 13), as it also announced a new flu vaccine information campaign.
The company said in a blog post that ads advocating for or against legislation or government policies around vaccines, including a Covid-19 vaccine, would still be allowed.
Facebook will begin to enforce the new policy in the next few days.
Facebook, which has been under pressure from lawmakers and public health groups to crack down on anti-vaccine content and misinformation on its platform, said that although a Covid-19 vaccine would not be available for some time, the pandemic had highlighted the importance of preventative health behaviors.
Facebook's rules prohibit ads with vaccine misinformation, but ads expressing opposition to vaccines had been allowed if they did not contain false claims.
This summer, Facebook Public Policy Manager Jason Hirsch told Reuters the company believed users should be able to express such personal views and that more aggressive censorship could push people hesitant about vaccines towards the anti-vaccine camp.