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Facebook scrambles to take down profile frames with anti-vaccine claims

FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed Facebook logo is seen in this illustration picture taken May 4, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed Facebook logo is seen in this illustration picture taken May 4, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo (REUTERS)

Some Facebook users bypass the company’s misinformation policies to post anti-vaccine profile frames.

Facebook has taken multiple steps to curb misinformation related to the Covid-19 and vaccinations. Some users, however, have figured out workarounds to bypass these efforts. Interestingly, these people were using Facebook’s own features to spread Covid-related misinformation.

According to a CNBC report, some people on Facebook were using custom borders on their profile pictures to make anti-vaccine claims. In case you did not know, Facebook allows users to personalise profile frames. People generally use it to extend support for a cause.

The report discovered that some profile frames on Facebook included messages that are banned on the social networking platform. "I trust my immune system, not a shot," read one of the borders. Similar misinformation, including 5G spreading Covid-19, were found on several other Facebook profile frames.

A Facebook spokesperson said that such profile frames were against the company policies and made efforts to take them down.

"We are actively promoting profile frames that encourage people to share their support for COVID-19 vaccines and removing any that break our rules," the spokesperson told Engadget.

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The spokesperson also said that the number of users with profile frames supporting vaccination has grown on the platform. "More than five million people globally have used one of these profile frames to express support for the vaccines, and more than half of people in the US on Facebook have already seen someone use one of our profile frames encouraging support for vaccines,” the spokesperson added.

Earlier this week, Facebook had said it took down 12 million pieces of misinformation on the Covid-19 pandemic globally from its family of apps, including Facebook and Instagram. The company also announced plans to launch a new campaign in India to educate and inform its users in India to help detect misinformation about the pandemic.

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