Twitter has launched new tools to help users be directed to credible public health sources when searching for information on vaccines.
A May 10th blog post from the social media site said in the U.S. it has partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and will direct users to vaccines.gov. In Canada, it will link to a Public Health Agency of Canada site.
To note, Twitter does something similar when users search for terms associated with suicide or self-harm “as part of our #ThereIsHelp initiative.”
“Twitter is committed to helping Canadians connect with reliable public health information about vaccines,” Michele Austin, head of government, public policy and philanthropy at Twitter Canada, told MobileSyrup. “The #KnowTheFacts service is part of our ongoing work to provide Canadians with tools and resources to promote public understanding about conversations that are happening on Twitter.”
Twitter said in the blog post it hopes to “expand it to other important public health issues in the coming months.”
“We will not auto-suggest queries that are likely to direct individuals to non-credible commentary and information about vaccines,” the blog post read.
“We understand the importance of vaccines in preventing illness and disease and recognize the role that Twitter plays in disseminating important public health information. We think it’s important to help people find reliable information that enhances their health and well-being.”
Instagram took on the same initiative and intends to block access to hashtags associated with anti-vaccination misinformation.