Facebook users bypass disinformation rules with anti-vaccine profile frames

Three months after the company misinformation about banned vaccines, CNBC found evidence of people using any of Facebook’s features to circumvent its policies. The company allows users to create custom borders for their profile photos which they can then upload so that others can use them freely. The idea behind these is to allow individuals to show their support for a cause. But the borders found by CNBC and Engadget express the types of vaccine claims that Facebook has tried to prevent from spreading.


For example, Facebook explicitly forbidden content suggesting it’s safer to get sick with COVID-19 than to get vaccinated against it. Yet many executives include messages that the company ostensibly forbids. “I trust my immune system, not a shot,” says one of the Borders. Another plays on Je suis Charlie, a slogan from the filming of Charlie Hebdo in 2015, and 5G conspiracy theories that circulated at the start of the pandemic. “I am a vaccine for 5G,” he says. Roughly speaking, “I am vaccinated against 5G”.

Facebook anti-vax framework


When CNBC contacted Facebook, he confirmed that executives were violating its policies and that he was working to remove them from the platform. As of this writing, it is still possible to add borders to your profile picture. For the most part, they’re also easy to find. It is not known how long the images have been around, or how many people have added them to their profile photos. however, like other types of anti-vaccine content on social media, it seems that only a handful of people made most of the frames.

“We are actively promoting profile executives who encourage people to share their support for COVID-19 vaccines and remove those who break our rules,” a Facebook spokesperson told Engadget. “More than five million people around the world have used one of these profile frames to express their support for vaccines, and more than half of people in the United States on Facebook have seen someone use it. ‘one of our profile executives to encourage vaccine support. “

The company also told us a blog post he released Tuesday that details the use of pro-vaccine profile frameworks. According to Facebook, more than 5 million of its users have added the images to their profile photos. He also claims that over 50% of Facebook users in the US have seen a profile with the frameworks he developed with help from the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. .

Update 4:31 PM ET: Facebook deleted the two profile frames highlighted by Engadget after contacting the company.

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