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Facebook Comes Down Heavily on Bogus Health Ads

There have been many instances in recent past where users have complained about ill effects of magic cures that are enjoying popularity in private Facebook groups. These groups consist of thousands of members and they get to read ads and posts that describe amazing health benefits of natural that are commonly used in a household. Some of these natural products are apple cider vinegar, baking soda, and many other such things used in kitchen around the world. One can see members of these groups telling each other that these products bring amazing health benefits that doctors don’t want people to know about.

Facebook support to private groups has allowed quacks and even individuals with mal intentions to propagate unscientific treatments to the followers.  In what was definitely a serious development, parents of autistic children recently revealed that they made their kids swallow bleach in the hope that it would cure them of autism. Disturbed and annoyed by allegations that Facebook is colluding with such people and groups, the company has said that it is taking steps to limit the reach of these groups based on magic cures.

There can be no two opinions about the fact that misleading medical information has thrived on not just Facebook but also Google for the last many years. Google has woken from a deep slumber only now after taking cognizance of recent news items where children and adults have suffered from ill effects of the so called miracle cures.

Facebook online support to these private groups will be downgraded as the company has decided to lower the rank of posts containing misleading health information. This means that these posts will reach the news feed of lesser number of people. Facebook hopes that its action will help in reducing the numbers and reach of these misleading ads and posts.

Given the craze and desire among the people to look young, beautiful, and slim, there has been a remarkable rise in the numbers of private Facebook groups where members inform each other about miracle cures of weight loss, evergreen youth and glowing skin and lustrous hair. People just lap up these cures in the hope that they will be cured of their various physical conditions. These groups also contain ads of these miracle cures out of which a vast majority are devoted to weight loss. These ads are not only misleading but also false without any scientific basis. Vulnerable audience falls prey to these ads and decides to try the miracle cure without giving a thought to its adverse effects.

Facebook has introduced news feed algorithms that are designed to keep an eye on these misleading ads and posts. If an ad or a post contains exaggerated health claims, Facebook algorithm will down rank it to make sure its reach among the members is low or minimum. With more and more people relying upon others, especially friends on social media to decide about use of products and services, this is a good step by Facebook that will put a brake on this tendency of spreading canards about amazing health benefits from everyday natural products.

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