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New Facebook, Instagram Pop-Ups Counter Vaccine Misinformation

THURSDAY, Sept. 5, 2019 -- Educational pop-up windows will now appear on Facebook and Instagram when people search for vaccine-related content.

The goal of the new feature is to counter the spread of antivaccination misinformation, according to Facebook, which owns Instagram, CNN reported. Users in the United States will get a pop-up window connecting them to vaccine information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while users outside the United States will be linked to the World Health Organization.

The CDC welcomed Facebook's move. "We know that parents often turn to social media to access health information and connect with other parents, and it can be difficult to determine what is accurate and who the credible sources of information are," CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said in an email, CNN reported.

Since the start of the year, the United States has had more than 1,200 confirmed measles cases in 31 states, and other countries have also had outbreaks. Vaccine misinformation online has been a major factor in fewer people getting vaccinated, resulting in outbreaks of measles and other preventable illnesses, according to public health experts, CNN reported.

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Posted: September 2019