Facebook announced Tuesday that it has changed its algorithm to curb the circulation of “misleading health content,” following reports that the platform is riddled with phony cancer cures.
In a blog post, Facebook product manager Travis Yeh, said: “In order to help people get accurate health information and the support they need, it’s imperative that we minimize health content that is sensational or misleading.
Facebook’s update does not explicitly mention what it is doing about groups dedicating to promoting “exaggerated or sensational health claims.” Most of the announcement focuses on down-ranking posts in the News Feed and predicts some pages will be affected.
The announcement comes after the social media company has been singled out for failing to stop the spread of damaging health messages, such as the Anti-vaxx conspiracy that urges parents not to vaccinate their children.
“For the first update, we consider if a post about health exaggerates or misleads — for example, making a sensational claim about a miracle cure,” wrote Facebook product manager Travis Yeh.
“For the second update, we consider if a post promotes a product or service based on a health-related claim — for example, promoting a medication or pill claiming to help you lose weight.”