Facebook is putting children’s lives at risk by reviving spurious MMR claims, the UK’s top health chiefs have said.
The anti-vaccination sites which promote the fake science that caused a surge in measles cases as well as conspiracy theories about other vaccines appear at the top of searches when parents use Facebook to find information about the MMR vaccine or other vaccinations.
Andrew Wakefield, the discredited doctor behind the fraudulent research linking the MMR vaccine to autism, features prominently on the sites with his film Vaxxed in which he accuses the US government’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention of a cover-up over the risks.
Unlike Google, which filters out anti-vaccination sites to promote guidance from the NHS, government or World Health Organisation, Facebook’s searches appear to be based solely on their most popular and active sites irrespective of whether they are peddling false information. The biggest anti-vaccination sites have more than 100,000 followers.
The problem here is, well, who gets to decide what is Woo?
Proper examination of detailed claims would show that pretty much any economic plans to the left of Tony Blair are woo for example. Should that be filtered out of Facebook listings? One could go on with many other popular beliefs….