The impact of Facebook’s vaccine misinformation policy on user endorsements of vaccine content: An interrupted time series analysis

March 1, 2022

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Vaccines are one of the most safe, consequential, and efficient public health interventions to reduce mortality and morbidity associated with vaccine-preventable diseases in the modern medicine. Yet, the anti-vaccination movement, fueled by a mass of unsubstantiated, misleading, and manipulated messages, has reemerged in recent years, undermining decades of public health efforts in the prevention of measles and other infectious diseases. It is of concern that in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, misinformation and disinformation regarding SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are having a resurgence on the Internet including social media, inducing a decline in intention to vaccinate. The spread of misleading vaccine claims is detrimental to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as future public health outbreaks. The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed vaccine hesitancy, defined as a delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite availability of vaccination services, as one of the top ten major threats to global health since 2019.

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