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Instagram blocked the #VaccinesKill hashtag two years ago. Facebook only just now got around to doing it

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The tag is now hidden on the platform, locked behind a message saying Facebook “protects our community.”

The change came hours after CNN Business asked Facebook why it was easy to find the page full of vaccination fakes. If this sounds familiar to you, it’s because almost the same happened with Instagram owned by Facebook two years ago, during one of the company’s previous efforts to tell people that it was really doing a great job of moderating anti-vaccine content.

It’s another example of Whack-a-mole happening on all social media. Reporters or other users notice content that clearly violates a platform’s policies; they wonder why it is allowed; the platform destroys it; and then the cycle is repeated.

CNN noticed the existence of #VaccinesKill content last weekend, after President Joe Biden accused Facebook of “killing people” by letting lies spread on its platforms.

They drink later I walked backwards and focused his anger on people and organizations that use Facebook to spread misinformation.
It is still quite difficult to know the extent of the problem. Many of the so-called “dozen misinformation“which Biden criticized, which were identified in a report by the Center for Digital Hate Countering as super-broadcasters of vaccine propaganda, have been banned in some way from one or other of the Facebook platforms or s’ Some of the “dozen” have learned to post in less risky ways than Facebook will take action against them.

But in different corners of the endless website, there are blatant violations of Facebook’s policies aimed at curbing the Covid-19 pandemic.

A review of the hashtag #VaccinesKill on Saturday showed posts from common users with scary messages about “vaccines that literally eat people’s brains” and shadow forces launching a “population reduction plan” . Other posts warned people “don’t inject this software into your system” and said “if you love your kids, don’t let them get hit”

The tag page was not particularly active, but it was clear that some users wanted their Facebook friends to notice the #VaccinesKill rhetoric and use the tag accordingly.

Some users attached videos of Fox host Tucker Carlson and InfoWars Alex Jones. In another case, a user shared an article against vaccination of a website posing as an authoritative news source. Some of the posts were accompanied by a Facebook tag that told people accurate information about vaccines.

In 2019 similar posts full of misinformation were seen on the hashtag #VaccinesKill on Instagram.

Then, before the Covid-19 pandemic, CNN Business wrote about the harmful content on Instagram and Instagram responded by blocking the hashtag #VaccinesKill. It is still blocked.

But the tag remained active on Facebook. “Our process for determining whether a hashtag violates our policies takes into account several factors, including the percentage of content used by the hashtag that violates,” a Facebook spokesman said in response to questions.

“We started blocking the hashtag #vaccineskill on Instagram in 2019 because there was a significant portion of content with the tag that violated our policies. At that time, Facebook content with the tag did not reach our threshold. to block the label, ”the spokesman said. “Now, the hashtag #vaccineskill on Facebook violates our policies against misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines and we’ve blocked the search.”

Facebook said it also removes individual posts with the tag “that violate community standards when we are aware of it.”

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