Author and affiliation: Maria Giovanna Sessa, EU DisinfoLab
Reviewers and affiliation: Amaury Lesplingart, CheckFirst, and Carlos Hernández-Echevarría, Maldita
- The present factsheet delves into platforms’ policies on health misinformation, focusing on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter. Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and related infodemic with specific legislation, making the topic of medical and health-related misinformation one of the most advanced topic-specific policies.
- Currently, the sense of urgency of the pandemic has faded, but the frameworks developed can be applied to other emergencies and the risk of imminent harm, which remains the fundamental ratio to recognise and address misinformation in general, and health misinformation specifically. Overall, vaccine-related misinformation continues to abound, making it crucial to maintain and enforce a solid policy that protects individuals and communities.
- A necessary disclaimer is that it is not always possible to distinguish between general misinformation policy and health-specific considerations. This document tries to skim through the various elements of the platforms’ misinformation policies to focus exclusively on relevant health- and medical misinformation elements. Therefore, in a long list of prohibited items, it will focus only on those that would have an impact on health, thus mentioning, for example, diet supplements, but not weapons.
- The next pages want to offer a cheat sheet to navigate how five platforms define and address health misinformation, which actions are put in place to limit the impact of health misinformation, and content is allowed to be published and advertised in this regard. Moreover, for each category analysed, it tries to highlight the common traits across platforms.
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