Facebook to Reduce Misleading Health Claims in News Feed

Pages should avoid posts about health that exaggerate or mislead people and posts that try to sell products using health-related claims

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FILE - The Facebook logo is seen on a shop window in Malaga, Spain, June 4, 2018. (VOA)

Facebook has begun addressing sensational and misleading nutrition, health and fitness claims on its platform by lowering them in your News Feed.

The social networking platform said has made two ranking updates to reduce posts with exaggerated or sensational health claims and posts attempting to sell products or services based on health-related claims.

“For the first update, we consider if a post about health exaggerates or misleads — for example, making a sensational claim about a miracle cure,” Facebook said in a blog post late Tuesday.

“For the second update, we consider if a post promotes a product or service based on a health-related claim a” for example, promoting a medication or pill claiming to help you lose weight,” it added.

Facebook is handling such health posts in a similar way it has claimed to previously reduce low-quality content like click-bait.

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FILE – Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

“We identify phrases that were commonly used in these posts to predict which posts might include sensational health claims or promotion of products with health-related claims, and then showing these lower in News Feed,” said the company.

According to Facebook, most Pages won’t see any significant changes to their distribution in News Feed as a result of this update.

“Posts with sensational health claims or solicitation using health-related claims will have reduced distribution,” it added.

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Pages should avoid posts about health that exaggerate or mislead people and posts that try to sell products using health-related claims.

“If a Page stops posting this content, their posts will no longer be affected by this change,” said Facebook. (IANS)