Facebook will penalize harmful health pages, alternative medicines, and miracle cures

Facebook announces new changes to its algorithm. A year after the important changes in the news feed, the social network explains that, as it already does with the supremacist content, it will begin to penalize those pages and posts that try to sell or promote "alternative cures and miracle medicine".

The objective of Facebook is to promote the theme of health, exercise and nutrition, but within these themes they have found that there is a large amount of sensational and directly misleading information. To better try the quality of the feed, what Facebook has done is penalize the algorithm and therefore hide those entries that promote this type of content. A penalty that has been activated this month and should progressively help prevent alternative health news from going viral on the social network.

Facebook against miracle medicine

What news will Facebook penalize? This is how they describe it:

  • First, those who exaggerate or confuse on health issues, for example, making a sensational claim to a miracle cure.
  • Those posts that promote a product or service based on a health-related claim will be penalized, for example, by promoting a medicine that claims to cure cancer or a pill that claims to help lose weight.

In the past Mark Zuckerberg has already announced that he would stop giving visibility to content that was close to violating Facebook's conditions of use. That is, those contents that do not break its use policy but that do promote "limit" content.

This is Zuckerberg's explanation for this idea:

"One of the biggest problems social media faces is that if it is not controlled, people will be disproportionately engaged in more sensational and provocative content. This is not a new phenomenon. It is widespread today. in cable news and has been a staple of tabloids for more than a century. At scale it can undermine the quality of public discourse and lead to polarization. In our case, it can also degrade the quality of our services. "

To detect these contents, what Facebook will do is identify the most used phrases in these types of articles, detecting whether they have to do with the promotion of scientifically debatable health topics and then reducing their impact on the news feed.

Facebook does not specify that it will reduce the visibility of articles related to homeopathy or other pseudosciences, although previously it has already explained that it will combat the pages of anti-vaccines. A decision that comes a few weeks after YouTube announced that it will remove the videos with hate speech, supremacism, terraplanistas and conspiracy theories.

More information | Facebook

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