By Sarah E. Needleman 

Facebook Inc. said it would ban ads that discourage immunization, part of a broader effort to combat misinformation about health vaccinations in the coronavirus pandemic.

The tech giant has previously faced criticism from health professionals and users that it failed to curb the spread of false claims about the safety and importance of vaccines on its platforms.

Last year, Facebook pledged to ban ads that include misinformation about vaccines and tweak its algorithms so pages that spread such content would no longer be recommended.

But the company later acknowledged it had failed to remove paid ads from a prominent antivaccination group that suggested unethical doctors conspired to hide evidence of alleged harm to children from vaccines.

Facebook's new initiative includes cracking down on ads that explicitly discourage people from getting a vaccine, the company said in a blog post.

Facebook said it would begin preventing such ads from appearing on its flagship platform over the next few days. It will also launch an information campaign on the flu vaccine, with a tool for finding the nearest location in the U.S. to get it, as well as work with global health groups such as the World Health Organization on efforts to increase immunization rates.

This article will be updated

Write to Sarah E. Needleman at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 13, 2020 14:29 ET (18:29 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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