Facebook Takes Aim At Misleading And Dangerous Health Claims

Facebook’s newest algorithm change takes direct aim at online information that spreads dangerous and misleading health claims.

Much like Facebook’s attempts to stop clickbait headlines and low-quality content, the newest change will penalize any publishers who provide factually incorrect health information on their pages and groups.

Facebook is following the same path as YouTube, Amazon, and others, who have recently implemented bans on content providers and e-commerce company’s who sell their often dangerous and completely bogus “cures.”

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BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

From drinking bleach to cure autism to curing cancer with essential oils, there is no shortage of debunked health science being touted as fact by individuals who are out to make a quick profit.

Zuckerberg and Co. say they are taking aim at companies who spread the most exaggerated health claims and those who are attempting to spread health-related claims to sell their misleading products.

Facebook says the most dangerous claims will be removed from the platform while exaggerated claims will see less reach, for example, companies who sell weight loss products.

“Posts with sensational health claims or solicitation using health-related claims will have reduced distribution,” Facebook said in a statement. “Pages should avoid posts about health that exaggerate or mislead people and posts that try to sell products using health-related claims. If a Page stops posting this content, their posts will no longer be affected by this change,” the company adds.

The algorithm update will also take aim at personal pages, helping to ensure that dangerous solutions are not spread as quickly beyond the pages where they originated.

Herbalife and other MLM companies could be quickly hurt by the new algorithm change since they encourage their members to post on their own Facebook accounts to avoid algorithm issues.