The organisation said the removal will be extended to false claims including those indicating that COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured and the narrative that vaccines are not effective at preventing the disease they are meant to protect against.
Other false claims that would be removed include those saying it is safer to get the disease than to get the vaccine and that vaccines are toxic, dangerous or cause autism.
The social media giant had earlier made a statement in December 2020 that it would start removing false claims about vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts from Facebook and Instagram.
The company said it was applying its policy to remove misinformation about the COVID-19 that could lead to imminent physical harm. The earlier list of false claims to be banned from their platforms are false claims about the safety, efficacy, ingredients or side effects of the vaccines; false claims that COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips or anything else that isn’t on the official vaccine ingredient list and conspiracy theories about COVID-19 vaccines that are false e.g.the fact that a specific group are being used without their consent to test the vaccine’s safety.
The enforcement of the additional policy is to take immediate effect with particular focus on ages, groups and accounts that violate these rules repeatedly, Facebook said.
The penalty for people in such category is outright removal from the platforms. It was also stated that in the coming weeks, there would be further expansions of the policies to promote aggressive action against misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines.