Facebook confirmed on Thursday that it took down a large private group dedicated to anti-vaccine content.
The company said the group was flagged for violating its policies on recidivism -- which stops group admins from creating another group similar to the one the company removed -- as well as violating its policies against QAnon.
NBC News previously reported on the anti-vaxxer Facebook group, which it reported played up stories of vaccine deaths and targeted grieving mothers.
Still, plenty of anti-vaxxer groups remain on Facebook. A cursory search by CNN Business found at least a dozen Facebook groups advocating against vaccines, with membership ranging from a few hundred to tens of thousands of users.
One group dedicated to stories about supposed “injuries” after vaccines has nearly 50,000 members. For example, one woman linked her childhood vaccinations to her later having seizures, hearing loss, wild mood swings and vision problems. In their descriptions, these anti-vaxxer groups include false and dangerous claims that vaccines aren’t effective and some push conspiracy theories about impending Covid-19 vaccine.
Public health experts say vaccines are extremely safe, and serious adverse reactions are very rare. Scientists have repeatedly and consistently debunked the most common anti-vaccine myth, the idea that there is a link between vaccinations and the development of autism in children. Reputable organizations such as the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics say that vaccination for children is crucial to public health.
Facebook groups related to vaccines all have an information box from Facebook that says: “This Group Discusses Vaccines. When it comes to health, everyone wants reliable, up-to-date information. Before joining this group, you might be interested in information that can help answer questions you may have about vaccines. Visit the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”