This year, the World Health Organization said that the anti-vaccine views are amongst the top 10 global health threat. On this note, Hashtags are banned by Instagram as its users are promoting false information about vaccines and vaccinations such as #vaccinescauseautism. Instagram is now planning to block other general hashtags that are misused to spread lies.
The so-called “anti-vaxxers” are active on Instagram promoting false information and hoaxes against vaccines.
Instagram informed BBC that it doesn’t have any intention of taking action against user accounts that identify themselves as anti-vaxxers. But it will try its best to de-promote the spread of such Hoaxes. It is greatly relying on the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention to point out to such Hoaxes. Two of the hoaxes i.e. #vaccinescauseaids and #vaccinesarepoison are removed and do not provide any result on searching.
This is a difficult task for police as new hashtags can keep coming and the anti-vaxxers tend to use neutral or pro-vaccines hashtags like #vaccines and #vaccinework to spread misleading information about vaccines.
Instagram plans to have pop-up messages to be displayed for people who are searching results for vaccines and vaccine-related stuff. This social platform has already taken the initiative to show a pop-up message to those who are looking for self-harm topics and drug-related items.
It is important for all social sites to take a note of such activities as the spread of misconception can lead to a greater problem. One such initiative to prevent the spread of hoaxes was taken up in the month of February by YouTube to prevent the serving of ads to lots of popular channels that promoted the anti-vaccine conspiracy theories. It took this action after the protests from the firms who realized that their advertisement was running alongside the videos that promoted such hoaxes.