Facebook will soon label all posts discussing the coronavirus vaccination with a pointer to official information about COVID-19 to counteract false claims about the shots.
The move comes after criticism by lawmakers and researchers for allowing vaccine misinformation to spread on its platforms.
The social media company said in a blog post it is also launching a tool in the United States to give people information about where to get COVID-19 vaccines.
It is also adding a COVID-19 information area to its photo-sharing site Instagram.
False claims and conspiracies about the coronavirus vaccines have proliferated on social media platforms during the pandemic.
Facebook and Instagram recently tightened their policies after long taking a hands-off approach to vaccine misinformation.
But they remain home to large accounts, pages and groups that promote false claims about the shots and can be easily found through keyword searches.
‘Huge grey area’
Facebook’s Chief Product Officer Chris Cox said in an interview that the company had taken viral false claims “very seriously” but said there was “a huge grey area of people who have concerns … some of which some people would call misinformation and some of which other people would call doubt.”
“The best thing to do in that huge grey area is just to show up with authoritative information in a helpful way, be a part of the conversation and do it with health experts,” he added.
The company said it was labelling Facebook and Instagram posts that discuss the safety of COVID-19 vaccines with text saying the vaccines go through safety and effectiveness tests before approval.
In the blog post, it also said that since expanding its list of banned false claims about the coronavirus and vaccines in February, it has removed an additional two million pieces of content from Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook said it had also implemented temporary measures including reducing the reach of content from users who repeatedly share content marked false by fact-checkers.