The Disinformation Dozen
Joseph Mercola

How long will it take Facebook and Instagram to enforce their own policies on these documented, repeat offenders?

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On February 8, 2021, Facebook announced another update to their policies to address COVID-19 and vaccine disinformation and misinformation on their platforms.

Anti-vaxx industry leader Joseph Mercola continues to violate Facebook’s stated policies on Instagram, and has returned to Facebook since claiming to leave the platform in 2019.

Facebook’s policy states that “Groups, Pages and accounts on Facebook and Instagram that repeatedly share these debunked claims may be removed altogether.” Since January, Mercola’s Page has violated policies no less than 9 times, which would seem to rise to the threshold for removal based on repeated sharing.

Examples of Violations

Here’s Mercola violating both Facebook’s policy against discouraging individuals from getting government approved COVID-19 tests and their policy against promoting conspiracy theories that suggest that COVID-19 is being utilized to “control a population for non-public health purposes.”

Here, Mercola violates Facebook’s policy against claiming that COVID-19 was manmade.

Finally, Mercola links to an interview with Judy Mikovitz on his website where she calls COVID vaccines “chemical poison,” claims that they’re being “forced on our most vulnerable populations” and asserts that the virus is man-made with “SARS-CoV-2 has been engineered in the lab with gain-of-function research.” This interview alone contains over 10 claims that violate Facebook’s stated policies.

The Disinformation Dozen

Guy Rosen, who oversees content decisions recently told the Guardian “[Facebook] will begin enforcing this policy immediately, with a particular focus on Pages, groups and accounts that violate these rules.”

Based on reports from The Center for Countering Digital Hate and other organizations that have been monitoring the activities and growth of anti-vaxx pages and groups, the disinformation dozen is a list of some of the most frequent violators of Facebook’s new (and old) policies.

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