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Oregon vaccine bill dead as US measles count soars

Health
Critics blasted a decision by Oregon lawmakers that killed a bill aimed at getting more children vaccinated for measles and other preventable diseases in order pass a tax on large businesses, saying it jeopardized public health. Despite passing the House and having the necessary votes in the Senate, the measure to make it harder for families to opt out of required vaccinations was nixed as part of a deal announced Monday to end a week-long Republican walkout over a multibillion school funding tax. Under the vaccination measure children would only have been be able to forgo vaccine requirements with a doctor's note, otherwise they'd be unable to attend public school. Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, a Democrat from Beaverton, Oregon, and the bill's sponsor, said the move prevents the state ...
Instagram blocks vaccine hoax hashtags

Instagram blocks vaccine hoax hashtags

Technology
Instagram says it will block hashtags being used to spread "verifiably false" information about vaccinations.The social network already blocks hashtags that are themselves false claims, such as #vaccinescauseautism.It says it will now block more general hashtags that are being used to spread lies by so-called anti-vaxxers. However, several anti-vaccine topics and accounts spreading misinformation and hoaxes are still active on Instagram.Hoaxes not hoaxersInstagram told the BBC it will not take action against people or accounts who identify themselves as anti-vaxxers. However, it will work to limit the spread of provably false claims because these have real-world harmful effects on the public.It said it relied on global authorities such as the World Health...
Instagram to block hashtags that promote vaccine misinformation

Instagram to block hashtags that promote vaccine misinformation

Technology
By Alexander J Martin, technology reporter Instagram says it will block hashtags used to promote misinformation about vaccines.Anti-vaccination messages on social media may be contributing to an increase in measles cases, according to the head of NHS England, Simon Stevens. A spokesperson for Instagram told Sky News it had already blocked the hashtags #vaccinescauseautism, #vaccinescauseaids and #vaccinesarepoison.The firm is now extending this policy to address hashtags that seem innocent on the surface.For example, #vaccines1234 does not contain anything alarming in its wording. Advertisement But if it is found to be used in a number of posts to promote verifiably false vacci...