Monday December 16, 2019
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Facebook Restores Page Warning About Fascism: Report

Facebook, however, later realised its mistake and restored the Page

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Facebook, Fake News
A user gets ready to launch Facebook on an iPhone, in North Andover, Mass., June 19, 2017. Facebook has made changes to fight false information, including de-emphasizing proven false stories in people's feeds so others are less likely to see them. VOA

After facing flak for briefly banning one of India’s most active Pages on Facebook that warned people about the dangers of fascism, the social media giant has restored the Page and apologised to its creator Dhruv Rathee.

A popular YouTuber with more than 1.7 million subscribers, Rathee on Monday pointed out that he was banned from posting on his Facebook Page after he wrote how Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party rose to power, which implicitly drew a parallel with the rise of right wing politics in India.

He highlighted in the post how Hitler remained unmarried, was more popular than the Nazi party, used propaganda and received support from industrialists.

Facebook, data, photos, vietnam
A smartphone user displays a Facebook newsfeed .VOA

While the post was a criticism of fascism, and not an endorsement, Facebook first determined that it was against its Community Standards, drawing severe criticism from several public figures.

Facebook, however, later realised its mistake and restored the Page.

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“Account restored! Thanks for your support guys! See the second photo, the reason Facebook had banned me,” Rathee said in a post, while adding a note from Facebook in which the social media giant apologised for the mistake.

“It looks like we did a mistake and removed something you posted on Facebook that did not go against our Community Standards. We want to apologise and let you know that we have restored your content and removed any blocks on your account related to this incorrect action,” Facebook said in the note. (IANS)

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Fake Ads on Facebook Spreading Rumours About anti-HIV Drugs

"Facebook and Instagram immediately remove the advertisements outlined above that are harming public health," it added

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Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

Fake ads on Facebook are spreading rumours about the ill-effect of anti-HIV drugs, targeting LGBTQ Facebook and Instagram users and are causing significant harm to public health, a non-profit organization GLAAD has written in a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“We are urgently reaching out to Facebook and Instagram regarding factually inaccurate advertisements which suggest negative health effects of Truvada PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis).

“We request that Facebook and Instagram remove the advertisements and also publicly address the misinformation that the platforms allowed to spread,” the non-profit organization said in the letter.

Using Facebook’s and Instagram’s targeted advertising programs, various law firms are attempting to recruit gay and bisexual men who use Truvada PrEP as an HIV preventative to join a lawsuit, claiming that the drug has caused harmful side effects in this patient population, specifically bone density and kidney issues.

“This is despite numerous studies underscoring the safety of TDF in HIV-negative PrEP users,” said GLAAD.

Leading public health officials, medical professionals, and dedicated PrEP navigators and outreach coordinators have shared that these advertisements on Facebook and Instagram are being directly cited by at-risk community members expressing heightened fears about taking PrEP.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that when taken daily, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV from sex or injection drug use.

“Studies have shown that PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99 per cent when taken daily.”

HIV test price in Delhi, HIV in Delhi, STD test in Delhi
HIV is a virus that impairs the body’s immune system badly and eventually takes the patient closer. Pixabay

By allowing these advertisements to persist on their platforms, said the letter, Facebook and Instagram are convincing at-risk individuals to avoid PrEP, invariably leading to avoidable HIV infections.

“You are harming public health.”

Facebook was yet to comment on the letter.

Facebook’s Advertising Policy regarding misinformation in ads states that “Facebook prohibits ads that include claims debunked by third-party fact checkers or, in certain circumstances, claims debunked by organizations with particular expertise.”

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We are the organizations with “particular expertise,” said GLAAD.

They demanded immediate action to ameliorate the harm which has already been caused to those who may be seeking preventative treatment against HIV.

“Facebook and Instagram immediately remove the advertisements outlined above that are harming public health,” it added. (IANS)