Social media companies have pledged to crack down on anti-vaccination messages that have been blamed for this year’s historic measles outbreaks. But a test by The Daily Beast reveals just how easy it is to place an ad filled with blatant medical misinformation on some of the world’s biggest online platforms.
The Daily Beast submitted anti-vaccination ads via Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Snapchat. Google and Twitter approved ads that repeated widely debunked claims, advocated directly against vaccination, and linked to conspiracy theory websites.
Facebook and Instagram rejected the Beast’s ads, though both have recently allowed anti-vaccine groups to hawk misinformation while simultaneously removing ads from hospitals and government health departments. Snap and YouTube also rejected The Daily Beast’s ads.
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