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UK Government May Remove Anti-Vaccine Posts from Facebook and other Social Media

The UK government are considering to remove anti-vaccine content off social media platforms like Facebook. However, isn't everyone supposed to express their opinion?
Zahrah A
31 March 2020

The UK government are considering to make new rules that ban any posts that go against vaccines and promote, what they consider, false information on social media - the main target being Facebook. Other platforms will include Twitter and Instagram

UK Government's British Health Secretary: Matt Hancock

After a surge of posts that go against the incentive, the British Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, said that internet firms have a "duty of care" to their users and legislation may be needed in order to enforce it.

In recent years, the controversial topic of vaccination has grown to include many people. The anti-vax movement claims that vaccines are harmful to the youth and could potentially cause autism. Facebook is one of the main social media platforms being blamed to help fuel the movement.

What Has Facebook Been Doing About Anti-Vaccine Content?

In order to rid of the anti-vaccine content on the platform, Facebook has teamed up with Pinterest. Just earlier this month, the owner of Instagram has said they were "fully committed" to purge campaigns, groups and posts that contain anti-vaccine content.

facebook anti-vaccine uk government

Facebook's head of Global Policy, Monika Bickert, had said that if these "vaccine hoaxes" are posted on Facebook "we will take action against them," in an article.

However, removing these posts is also a violation of one's human rights. For example, everyone in the UK has the right of:

Freedom of thought, belief and religion allows a person to put their thoughts and beliefs into action. For example, you have the right to talk about your beliefs. This is what people who do not believe in vaccines are doing online - talking about their thoughts/beliefs.

Freedom of expression protects the person's right to hold their own opinions and express them freely - without government interference. This means that you're allowed to express your opinions in published articles, television or radio broadcasting, works of art and on the internet and social media.

What do you think of this new proposition? Stay safe!

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