Instagram, which is owned by Facebook (has said it’s working to reduce the distribution of misinformation about vaccines on the popular photo-sharing app. At a press event in New York on Tuesday, Instagram executives said vaccine misinformation is not eligible for recommendation to its Explore, hashtag and search pages. But discussion about vaccines as a general topic is still allowed and can be recommended in these places, they said.),
An Instagram spokesperson added that its efforts are focused on vaccine misinformation, not the anti-vax movement. This means that Instagram wants to curtail false information about vaccines, but not ban people who identify as anti-vaxers or publish anti-vaccine posts.
Karina Newton, Instagram’s global head of public policy, said the company has blocked what she called hashtags with “straight up” vaccine misinformation, such as #VaccinesCauseAIDS. The company said it’s focused on removing “publicly identified verifiable vaccine hoaxes” identified by groups like the World Health Organization, like #VaccinesCauseAIDS.