Instagram to Soon Filter Anti-Vax Content

The social media network is seeking to prevent the spread of misinformation about vaccines.
Loukia Papadopoulos

Instagram will soon begin filtering ant-vax content reported BuzzFeed News. The aim is to prevent the spread of misinformation about vaccines.


A pop-up warning

The new feature will consist of a pop-up warning that appears when you search certain anti-vax terms. Instagram’s safety team did not provide a launch date yet.

The feature has however been applied to other themes on Instagram. For instance, a pop-up alert shows up when people search for hashtags or information related to self-harm or suicide.

The message features a warning and a link to support resources. There is no information yet on what the anti-vax pop up might say or link to.

Last month, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a public health emergency over the measles outbreak affecting the Orthodox Jewish community in Williamsburg. 

DeBlasio took out an order that would see unvaccinated citizens of certain zip codes required to receive the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine under threat of a fine in an attempt to curb the outbreak. The outbreak was fueled by strong anti-vaxing sentiments.

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Stopping misinformation

There has been a social media drive to stop such misinformation. YouTube has been demonetizing anti-vax videos since February while Facebook said it would bar anti-vax groups and pages from advertising.

Instagram is also already currently blocking certain anti-vaxing hashtags such as #vaccinescauseaids. The social network has no plan to ban accounts or delete posts that discuss anti-vax subjects.

Instead, the focus is on redirecting people to accurate vaccine information. Let's hope it works!

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