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Facebook Launches Campaign to Help Users Spot False Vaccine News

This week (Wednesday, 10 March), Facebook launched a new media literacy campaign in partnership with the WHO and our European fact-checking partners to educate people on how to spot false vaccination news

‘Together Against Covid-19 Misinformation’ rolled out to Facebook and Instagram Newsfeeds through a series of ads encouraging people to connect with accurate information from credible sources such as the HSE, and reduce misinformation by asking them to check the following when viewing content online

1. Check The Source: Scrutinise content, even if it appears science based

2. Check How It Makes You Feel: False news can manipulate feelings for clicks

3. Check The Context: Look to public health authorities to confirm content

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we have worked closely with the HSE – and global public health experts – to connect people to accurate information and tackle vaccine misinformation. This campaign has been launched to provide further tools, knowledge and resources to help inform people on how to detect false news – and ultimately stop sharing it

Facebook’s platforms have provided a channel for important public health messages. Since December 30th 2020, the HSE has reached over 9.2 million people on Facebook and had over 573,000 engagements on posts about Covid-19 health messaging. The HSE’s #OurHealthService Covid-19 vaccine stories featuring real people getting the vaccine have reached around 1 million people per post; while their Instagram posts have reached over 669,000 people

We are pleased that the HSE has welcomed the work we’re undertaking with this campaign in helping users spot false news in relation to Covid-19 and vaccines.

Facebook recently launched a new website – Taking Action Against Misinformation Across Our Apps ( – which will give people more transparency around Facebook’s Remove, Reduce and Inform strategy for tackling misinformation and the steps taken to combat false news around global events such as Covid-19, elections and climate change.

Between March and October 2020, Facebook removed more than 12 million pieces of Covid-19 misinformation on Facebook and Instagram, and displayed warnings on about 167 million pieces of Covid-19 content on Facebook, pointing to debunking articles written by fact checking partners.

During summer 2020, we conducted a 4-week media literacy campaign to educate and inform people about how to detect potential false news. The campaign reached 1.7 million users in Ireland. It featured ‘Three Questions to Help Stamp out False News’, which appeared on Facebook adverts and directed people to a dedicated website with a full set of tips – The study we ran alongside the campaign saw a positive lift of 7.4 percentage points in users actively remembering seeing the ads and a lift of 2.4 percentage points in users reporting behaviour change after interacting with the campaign. The lift percentage indicates the difference between the test and control groups.

Similar to our previous campaign, we will follow ‘Together Against Covid-19 Misinformation’, with surveys to ask people what they have learned. The information will help us to create more effective media literacy initiatives in the future.