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Old 8th February 2021, 05:07 PM   #1
arthwollipot
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Facebook Bans Vaccine Misinformation

Well this is pretty huge:

Facebook bans misinformation about all vaccines after years of controversy

Quote:
Company will remove posts with false claims and groups with repeated violations will be shut down


Facebook has banned misinformation about all vaccines following years of harmful, unfounded health claims proliferating on its platform.

As part of its policy on Covid-19-related misinformation, Facebook will now remove posts with false claims about all vaccines, the company announced in a blogpost on Monday.

These new community guidelines apply to user-generated posts as well as paid advertisements, which were already banned from including such misinformation. Instagram users will face the same restrictions.

“We will begin enforcing this policy immediately, with a particular focus on Pages, groups and accounts that violate these rules,” said Guy Rosen, who oversees content decisions. “We’ll continue to expand our enforcement over the coming weeks.”
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Old 8th February 2021, 05:22 PM   #2
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This is welcome news.

I hope FB's fact-checkers are numerous and well- informed.
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Old 8th February 2021, 05:37 PM   #3
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Good!
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Old 8th February 2021, 05:43 PM   #4
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Now if someone would just warn people about bad vaccine information sites on Google searches. But I suppose that would have too many dangerous consequences like some sort of centralized control over internet information.
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Old 8th February 2021, 05:46 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Now if someone would just warn people about bad vaccine information sites on Google searches. But I suppose that would have too many dangerous consequences like some sort of centralized control over internet information.
Not really. Without some intervention some of the crazier and loonier ideas can rise to the top of searches just because the incentive is for the more extreme ideas.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 8th February 2021, 06:05 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Not really. Without some intervention some of the crazier and loonier ideas can rise to the top of searches just because the incentive is for the more extreme ideas.
I have issues with the search engines' algorithms anyway, especially Google's.

I mostly use other search engines and even then I have to use more than one because they give different results regardless of how specific I make the search terms.
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Old 8th February 2021, 06:42 PM   #7
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Yes, Google heavily tailors its search results. One thing I wish more people understood was that if you google a particular search term and I google the same term, we will probably get different results.

Far too often I see people say things like "It's the second result in a google search".
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Old 9th February 2021, 12:33 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I have issues with the search engines' algorithms anyway, especially Google's.

I mostly use other search engines and even then I have to use more than one because they give different results regardless of how specific I make the search terms.
In Firefox: Use a Private Browsing window - Hamburger Icon > New Private Window (or CTRL-SHIFT P). Its uses Google to search, just start entering your search terms into the input box and it will move to typing directly into the URL bar. Its not perfect, but it will give you non-personalized results, and will not save your browsing history, cookies or passwords.

In Chrome: Use Incognito Mode - Three dots > New Incognito Window (or CTRL-SHIFT N). Its uses Google to search, just enter the search terms directly into the URL bar. Again, its not perfect, but Chrome won't save browsing history, cookies and site data or form information. There is also an option to block third party cookies.
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Old 9th February 2021, 01:12 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
In Firefox: Use a Private Browsing window - Hamburger Icon > New Private Window (or CTRL-SHIFT P). Its uses Google to search, just start entering your search terms into the input box and it will move to typing directly into the URL bar. Its not perfect, but it will give you non-personalized results, and will not save your browsing history, cookies or passwords.

In Chrome: Use Incognito Mode - Three dots > New Incognito Window (or CTRL-SHIFT N). Its uses Google to search, just enter the search terms directly into the URL bar. Again, its not perfect, but Chrome won't save browsing history, cookies and site data or form information. There is also an option to block third party cookies.
You're very kind but my cookies/history whatever are not the problem. I use incognito when I need to. I use Startpage and sometimes it's useless so I switch to DuckDuckGo. That seems to solve the problem. Startpage is supposed to be private browsing though who knows.

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 9th February 2021 at 01:13 AM.
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Old 9th February 2021, 02:44 AM   #10
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It is easier, though it comes with a small fee using a VPN proxy and you get to watch lots of cool TV programs you wouldn't normally get because of region locking.
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Old 9th February 2021, 07:44 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
This is welcome news.

I hope FB's fact-checkers are numerous and well- informed.
And politically neutral - though that might be asking for the moon....
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Old 9th February 2021, 04:01 PM   #12
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Thanks for moving the thread, mods. It was a tossup for me between Current Events, Science and Medicine, and Technology. I'm glad the thread has finally found its proper place.

Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
In Firefox: Use a Private Browsing window - Hamburger Icon > New Private Window (or CTRL-SHIFT P). Its uses Google to search, just start entering your search terms into the input box and it will move to typing directly into the URL bar. Its not perfect, but it will give you non-personalized results, and will not save your browsing history, cookies or passwords.

In Chrome: Use Incognito Mode - Three dots > New Incognito Window (or CTRL-SHIFT N). Its uses Google to search, just enter the search terms directly into the URL bar. Again, its not perfect, but Chrome won't save browsing history, cookies and site data or form information. There is also an option to block third party cookies.
Nice try, and you are insulating yourself against some tailoring. But Google still knows that you're using Chrome, and it still knows that you're using Chrome in incognito mode. It still knows where in the world you are, and it still has access to your browsing history - it's just not adding new entries to it. There are definitely other parameters it is still using too. Google doesn't disclose its search algorithms as it considers them to be a trade secret, but I read somewhere that there are 41 different parameters that it uses to tailor your history. And that's when you're not logged on.

Personally, I don't care. Let it tailor my search results. They're not invalid because of it.
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Old 10th February 2021, 12:14 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Thanks for moving the thread, mods. It was a tossup for me between Current Events, Science and Medicine, and Technology. I'm glad the thread has finally found its proper place.

Nice try, and you are insulating yourself against some tailoring. But Google still knows that you're using Chrome, and it still knows that you're using Chrome in incognito mode. It still knows where in the world you are, and it still has access to your browsing history - it's just not adding new entries to it. There are definitely other parameters it is still using too. Google doesn't disclose its search algorithms as it considers them to be a trade secret, but I read somewhere that there are 41 different parameters that it uses to tailor your history. And that's when you're not logged on.

Personally, I don't care. Let it tailor my search results. They're not invalid because of it.
Did a search on the highlighted bit. The answers I got dodged that issue. So I put in a search term in incognito mode and I got back answers that would require my search history. So google does know, even in incognito mode, what searches I have done outside of this mode. Something I think should be spelled out and is not.
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Old 10th February 2021, 03:20 AM   #14
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Am I the only one who is waiting to see it before I believe it?

Either a lot of posts will be missed or legitimate criticism will be censored.
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Old 10th February 2021, 06:03 AM   #15
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Even in Incognito Mode, Google still knows your IP address.
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Old 10th February 2021, 09:14 AM   #16
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They're suppressing the truth!
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Old 10th February 2021, 09:23 AM   #17
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Facebook bravely shuts barn door after all horses escape.
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Old 10th February 2021, 09:49 AM   #18
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I mean, in theory it might sound good but in practice it will be shutting down legitimate discussion unless they expect to fact check and give disclaimers vs widely removing posts. The main issue with most antivax information is degree of risk. Can cause death is a fact with most vaccines. Will it really be difficult to leave facts in while leaving the risk level out? Should such discussion not be there even if risks are exceedingly low? Guess we'll find out where they have decided to put the line.
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Old 10th February 2021, 11:35 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by rdwight View Post
I mean, in theory it might sound good but in practice it will be shutting down legitimate discussion unless they expect to fact check and give disclaimers vs widely removing posts. The main issue with most antivax information is degree of risk. Can cause death is a fact with most vaccines. Will it really be difficult to leave facts in while leaving the risk level out? Should such discussion not be there even if risks are exceedingly low? Guess we'll find out where they have decided to put the line.
"Can cause death" applies to a lot of stuff... driving cars, flying in airplanes, crossing the road, cooking food... We don't dissuade people from doing those things because they might get killed doing so.. and the reason we don't is the extremely low risk of that happening.

The important thing with vaccines is that, despite the fact that there are a very tiny (and by tiny I mean miniscule) number of cases where vaccines have caused death or harm - they have overwhelmingly been beneficial and saved literally millions of lives.

Its important to distinguish the difference between having a valid discussion of the safety of vaccines, and the spreading of false or misleading information about them. Anti-vaxxers are not just participants in the former, they are participants in the latter.
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Old 10th February 2021, 01:36 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Its important to distinguish the difference between having a valid discussion of the safety of vaccines, and the spreading of false or misleading information about them.
I don't see that happening. Any post that isn't enthusiastically pro-vaccine enough ("damning with faint praise") will attract complaints and a single complaint is often enough to get a post removed.
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Old 10th February 2021, 05:40 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
"Can cause death" applies to a lot of stuff... driving cars, flying in airplanes, crossing the road, cooking food... We don't dissuade people from doing those things because they might get killed doing so.. and the reason we don't is the extremely low risk of that happening.
Framing those as side effects is disingenuous though. Plenty of better medicine related examples out there to use.


Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
The important thing with vaccines is that, despite the fact that there are a very tiny (and by tiny I mean miniscule) number of cases where vaccines have caused death or harm - they have overwhelmingly been beneficial and saved literally millions of lives.
Yes (although I think 'harm' is currently undercounted), and that should remain the main rebuttal. Completely false information is the easiest to combat, but having FB figure out where the line is will be interesting to begin. Strong arming conversation in one way by a for profit business that is less than trusted might have the opposite effect they are hoping to accomplish.


Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Its important to distinguish the difference between having a valid discussion of the safety of vaccines, and the spreading of false or misleading information about them. Anti-vaxxers are not just participants in the former, they are participants in the latter.
Definitely. And the good thing about allowing the back and forth is that it enables those that have to make this decision to see reasoning that resonates with them. On somewhere like FB, people you know and trust have the possibility to reach out and share what pushed them either way. That is probably better than pushing them off onto antivax sites that require source checking to reach an informed conclusion.


Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I don't see that happening. Any post that isn't enthusiastically pro-vaccine enough ("damning with faint praise") will attract complaints and a single complaint is often enough to get a post removed.
Which leads to the "why are they censoring this!!" outrage machine to go into overdrive.
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Old 10th February 2021, 06:06 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by jadebox View Post
Even in Incognito Mode, Google still knows your IP address.
And a lot else.

This comes up sometimes when people claim that Facebook is using your phone's microphone to record your physical conversations. For a start, for what it's worth, Facebook flatly denied it in a congressional hearing, and contempt of congress is not a minor crime. Secondly, and more importantly, they don't need to.

If you have a conversation with a friend about playstation games, and then later suddenly start getting ads for games you'd talked about, that seems creepy. Until you realise that your friend might have just googled those games, and Facebook knows what your friends are doing. Especially if their birthday is coming up - Facebook will actively suggest birthday presents for your friends. That is way creepier, and doesn't even require that Facebook listened in on your conversation.
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Last edited by arthwollipot; 10th February 2021 at 06:07 PM. Reason: Changed from first to second person
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Old 10th February 2021, 06:08 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Am I the only one who is waiting to see it before I believe it?

Either a lot of posts will be missed or legitimate criticism will be censored.

Eeeeeeverybody is a Facebook skeptic.

I'm skeptical that they're using skepticism.




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Old 11th February 2021, 01:55 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
That's right! Less idiots on the web - more order! Anti-vaccination campaigns, manipulation of the minds of gullible people create a lot of chaos and increase the rate of spread of diseases and increase the number of cases, and therefore the number of deaths. In general, if you shut up all the idiots who impose these crazy ideas, the better and calmer.
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Old 11th February 2021, 03:19 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by KayBur View Post
That's right! Less idiots on the web - more order! Anti-vaccination campaigns, manipulation of the minds of gullible people create a lot of chaos and increase the rate of spread of diseases and increase the number of cases, and therefore the number of deaths. In general, if you shut up all the idiots who impose these crazy ideas, the better and calmer.
Oh definitely - in fact the Government should run it to ensure only the best scientific advice is given out and all dissenters are eliminated....
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Old 11th February 2021, 09:04 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
This is welcome news.

I hope FB's fact-checkers are numerous and well- informed.

That is a valid concern. I don't use FB but if I did I would worry that at some point they might choose to ban something that later turns out to be true, or some other such scenario.

In the end they can do whatever they want. The morons of the world got their "misinformation goes mainstream" foot in the door thanks to Trump and it is concerning.
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Old 11th February 2021, 11:20 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Facebook bravely shuts barn door after all horses escape.
and will forever be a dollar short and a day late. There is a simple solution to posting links on Facebook: give up the approach of blacklisting and begin whitelisting. Say anything you want on facebook but post a link, and it needs to be whitelisted for a follow-through, not blacklisted to not be posted.
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Old 12th February 2021, 06:27 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
Eeeeeeverybody is a Facebook skeptic.
You're not?
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Old 22nd February 2021, 01:48 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
Oh definitely - in fact the Government should run it to ensure only the best scientific advice is given out and all dissenters are eliminated....
As practice shows, the government also does not always react in a timely and adequate manner. Think of Trump's speeches at the start of the pandemic. In general, I don't even know what measures should be taken so that people receive adequate and understandable information from all possible sources.
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