Facebook Considers Change as Measles Cases Spread

Anti-vaccination content could be toned down
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2019 4:53 PM CST
Facebook Considers Change as Measles Cases Spread
Demonstrators rally against a bill that would remove parents' ability to claim a philosophical exemption to opt their children out of the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, last week at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

With cases of the measles spreading in Washington state, Facebook says it will try to reduce the spread of misinformation about health, especially vaccinations, on its platform. Facebook tells USA Today it is looking into making anti-vaccination content less visible and has "taken steps" to reduce false health news but added, "we know we have more to do." Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, had just written CEO Mark Zuckerberg to ask what Facebook is doing about fake information and "to encourage you to consider additional steps." Facebook says it is working with outside experts and will reveal more changes soon. At least 58 people have contracted the measles in Clark County, Washington, CNN reports.

"The thing that keeps me up at night is having a death, you know, a child die from this," said Dr. Alan Melnick, director of the county health department. Elsewhere, one mother recently took to Facebook to vent her anger about people deciding not to vaccinate, per CBS. Jennifer Hibben-White posted after being told that her son Griffin, who was 15 days old at the time, might have been exposed at her doctor's office near Toronto. In her widely shared post, Hibben-White addressed the person at the doctor's office who had the measles. "If you have chosen to not vaccinate yourself or your child, I blame you," she wrote. "I blame you." (More Facebook stories.)

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