JERUSALEM (ISRAEL) – The Israeli Justice Ministry said on Sunday that Facebook has removed content spreading lies in the country against coronavirus vaccinations. This comes as the government is seeking support for the drive.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu became the first person to receive the vaccination in the country. As per opinion polls, two-thirds of the public want to be inoculated.
As per the Justice Ministry, Facebook took heed of its request and removed four groups during the weekend for sharing texts, photographs and videos with “deliberately mendacious content designed to mislead about coronavirus vaccines”.
The fake news included arguments that vaccines would be used to implant government tracking chips, to poison them and thus cull the population or to subject them to medical experimentation, according to a statement issued by the ministry.
A spokesperson for the social media firm said four Hebrew-language groups had been taken down as part of the policy in place against “spreading misinformation regarding the vaccines”.
Government officials said the country has enough stocks of shots or order by year’s end to protect the most vulnerable 20% of the population, adding that it would then lift pandemic curbs. They expressed concern that the turnout to get the shots would be affected if people receive false information on social media.
On Sunday, the authorities began administering shots to medical staff on Sunday. Dozens of doctors and nurses at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center danced as they awaited their turn to get the shots.
Elderly citizens are next in line as well as those belonging to high-risk categories. The rest of the adult population will get the shots early next year.