Facebook is minimising health content that is sensational or misleading, according to a blog post published last week by Travis Yeh, a product manager for the social media giant. The company has introduced two ranking updates to reduce posts with “exaggerated or sensational health claims” and posts that are “attempting to sell products or services based on health-related claims”. Yeh writes that Facebook is handling the “down-ranking” of these types of posts in the same way that they have previously reduced clickbait posts. Phrases that are commonly used in posts that include misleading or exaggerated health claims will be identified. These phrases will then be used to predict which posts may include sensational health claims or maybe promoting products with health-related claims,= and will be shown lower in people’s news feeds. Hundreds of Facebook groups dedicated to natural treatments exist on the social media platform, claiming to have cures for cancer and other ailments. These groups speak of “miracle cures” in the forms of baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and frankincense.
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