The Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden have agreed with social media platforms new measures to limit the spread of vaccine misinformation and disinformation and to assist people to find the information they need about COVID-19 vaccines.
At a virtual roundtable, Facebook, Twitter and Google have agreed:
- To commit to the principle that no user or company should directly profit from COVID-19 vaccine mis/disinformation. This removes an incentive for this type of content to be promoted, produced and be circulated,
- To ensure a timely response to mis/disinformation content flagged to them by the government,
- To continue to work with public health bodies to ensure that authoritative messages about vaccine safety reach as many people as possible, and
- To join new policy forums over the coming months to improve responses to mis/disinformation and to prepare for future threats.
The forums will see the government, social media platforms, public health bodies and academia increase their cooperation and ongoing information sharing to deliver a better understanding of the evolving threat caused by false COVID-19 vaccine narratives.
Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
“Covid disinformation is dangerous and could cost lives. While social media companies are taking steps to stop it spreading on their platforms there is much more that can be done.
“So I welcome this new commitment from social media giants not to profit from or promote flagged anti-vax content, given that making money from this dangerous content”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“After clean water, vaccination is the most effective public health intervention in the world and has saved countless lives across the globe, eradicating one disease entirely.
“I am encouraged that social media companies have agreed to do more to prevent the spread of dangerous misinformation and disinformation on their platforms.
“We want users to have greater access to reliable and scientifically-accurate information on vaccines from trusted sources like the NHS so they can make informed decisions to protect themselves and their loved ones.”
Read the press release for more information.