A Blog by Jonathan Low


Feb 23, 2021

Due Its Political Ad Block, Facebook Is Cancelling Pro-Vaccine Messages

Unintended consequences? No, nothing Facebook does in unintended. JL

Darius Tahir reports in Politico:

Facebook imposed restrictions on political advertising during last year’s election cycle to combat misinformation. Ads from public officials are banned outright, while some from advocacy groups are allowed but require “paid for” disclaimers. But in casting its net, the site has snagged routine notices about the availability and effectiveness of vaccines and about the course of the pandemic. "While the company said it’s trying to promote authoritative public health messaging and uphold free speech the long list of banned ads raise the question of how effective they are in realizing that goal.”Facebook’s efforts to police online ads for vaccine misinformation are unintentionally blocking messages from cities, health care providers and community and faith-based groups promoting Covid shots. 
Paid-for messages from at least 110 groups aimed at raising awareness of how the vaccines work or where to get inoculated were flagged and sent to Facebook’s register of political messages, a POLITICO review of barred ads dating from last September shows.


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