Instagram blocked the #VaccinesKill hashtag two years ago. Facebook only just now got around to doing it
July 21, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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Last week, even as it came under fire from the White House over its role in spreading anti-vaccine misinformation, Facebook hadn't taken the simple step of blocking the #VaccinesKill hashtag on its platform.
(CNN)Last week, even as it came under fire from the White House over its role in spreading anti-vaccine misinformation, Facebook (FB) hadn't taken the simple step of blocking the #VaccinesKill hashtag on its platform.
The existence of the #VaccinesKill content was noticed by CNN last weekend, after President Joe Biden accused Facebook of "killing people" by letting lies spread on its platforms.
The hashtag page was not particularly active, but it was clear that some users wanted their Facebook friends to latch onto #VaccinesKill rhetoric, and were using the hashtag accordingly.
Back then, before the Covid-19 pandemic, CNN Business wrote about the harmful content on Instagram, and Instagram responded by blocking the #VaccinesKill hashtag.
But the hashtag remained active on Facebook.
"Our process to determine whether a hashtag violates our policies takes several factors into account, including the percentage of content using the hashtag that violates," a Facebook spokesperson said in response to questions.
"We began blocking the #vaccineskill hashtag on Instagram in 2019 because there was a substantial portion of content with the hashtag that violated our policies.
At the time, Facebook content with the hashtag did not reach our threshold to block the hashtag," the spokesperson said.
"Now, the #vaccineskill hashtag on Facebook violates our policies against misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines and we've blocked it from search. "
Facebook said it also removes individual posts with the hashtag "that violate Community Standards when we become aware of them. "