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Cyber-Police: Government to take action against social media campaigns attacking Polio vaccines

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News Desk |

Government of Pakistan has initiated a crackdown against the anti-polio social media campaigns. The campaigns became a major deterrent to the polio drive as it instilled fear in parents who refused to vaccinate their children.

Hence, social media applications including YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, responded to the request of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and has started removing content that spreads misinformation regarding the polio vaccines.

A letter was circulated by PTA to its officials, calling to take immediate measures to curb the spread of misinformation that creates hurdles for the polio vaccination team.

The recent polio vaccination drive met with trouble when approximately 25,000 schoolchildren in Peshawar were rushed to hospital due to an alleged ‘adverse reaction’ from the vaccination.

The PTA letter stated that the polio teams had been facing rejections from parents who were possibly misguided by wrong material against the drive, primarily on Facebook and YouTube. The letter added that nearly 100,000 were left out from being vaccinated due to negative propaganda against the campaigns.

“A legal framework is also under consideration to take action against persistent propagandists that are putting the lives of children and health workers at risk.” Said Babar Bin Atta, PM’s Focal Person for Polio Eradication. He also appreciated Facebook’s global regulatory and content management team’s collaboration with Pakistan in the fight against polio during a video conference.

The recent polio vaccination drive met with trouble when approximately 25,000 schoolchildren in Peshawar were rushed to hospital due to an alleged ‘adverse reaction’ from the vaccination. The team of doctors, however, brushed off such claims and called the apparent symptoms of nausea and diarrhea mere psychological reaction to the manufactured hysteria over safety fears about the vaccine.

Read more: Pakistan demands Facebook remove polio vaccine misinformation

The provincial government, however, handled the emergency health crisis and stated that the same batch of polio drops was used in other parts of the provinces and did not produce the negative side effects.

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