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the coronavirus crisis

Facebook says it will remove additional false claims about COVID-19 vaccines

Facebook is "expanding" efforts to crack down on COVID-19 misinformation.

The social media company on Monday said it will be "expanding the list of false claims" about COVID-19 and vaccines that it will remove from its platform. Facebook will now take down false claims that "COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured," that "vaccines are not effective at preventing the disease they are meant to protect against," that "it's safer to get the disease than to get the vaccine," and that "vaccines are toxic, dangerous or cause autism," it said.

Additionally, the company said that Facebook and Instagram groups, pages and accounts that "repeatedly share these debunked claims may be removed altogether," and on Instagram, the company will make it "harder to find accounts in search that discourage people from getting vaccinated."

The new policies from Facebook came in response to a ruling by the independent Facebook Oversight Board, which said the company's rules on the matter were "inappropriately vague," The New York Times reports.

Previously, Facebook announced in December it would start removing false claims about COVID-19 vaccines that public health experts have debunked, including false conspiracy theories about them. Despite this, CNN reported this week that "misleading and fearmongering content about the COVID vaccines, as well as outright misinformation, continues to spread on the platform."