More than 30,000 Australians call for anti-vaccination groups to be removed from Facebook amid social media crackdown
- Australians called on Facebook to ban anti-vaccination groups from platform
- Brisbane-based David Brand said he wanted to fight ‘anti-vaxx propoganda’
- He said rise of the social media giant fuelled rise of controversial movement
- Pinterest and Youtube have already clamped down on spread of the rhetoric
More than 30,000 Australians have called for Facebook to follow the lead of other social media platforms and ban anti-vaccination groups.
Photo-sharing provider Pinterest blocked all searches related to vaccinations last month and Youtube has also removed adverts promoting anti-vaccination rhetoric.
Brisbane software developer David Brand has now started a petition calling on Facebook to get rid of groups acting ‘as an echo chamber reinforcing vaccine myths’.
More than 30,000 Australians have called for Facebook to follow the lead of other social media platforms and ban anti-vaccination groups
Mr Brand said he wanted to take on ‘anti-vax propaganda’.
‘The biggest mechanism for this propaganda to spread is Facebook,’ the 31-year-old told News Corp.
He said the anti-vaccine movement had grown in parallel with the social media platform’s rise in popularity since 2008.
‘If Facebook was to remove these pages or clamp down on them, it would make a massive difference,’ he said.
He said his petition, which has already gained more than 33,000 signatures, has seen particular success in recent months following a string of measles outbreaks across Australia.
Facebook were sent a letter last month in the US by Republican congressman Adam Schiff asking them to to reveal what steps they were taking to provide medically accurate information
One of Australia’s largest anti-vaccination groups, Anti-Vaccination Australia, has more than 17,000 members and Mr Brand said he wanted to take on ‘anti-vax propaganda’ (stock image)
A Facebook spokesman said the company had already worked to reduce health-related misinformation but was looking into making additional changes.
The spokesman did not however comment on the Australian voices who had asked for change.
In the past fortnight, urgent health warnings have been issued by bodies in New South Wales in Queensland after people were infected with the potentially deadly disease.
Other measles cases in Victoria, South Australia and the ACT have also been identified.
One of Australia’s largest anti-vaccination groups, Anti-Vaccination Australia, has more than 17,000 members.