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Photo illustration by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook is partnering with a global tech non-profit called Meedan to give its 80+ fact-checking partner organizations access to training from experts in how to handle health and vaccine misinformation, a spokesperson tells Axios.

The big picture: It's part of an expanded effort by Facebook to reduce health misinformation on its platform. The tech giant is facing increasing criticism from the Biden Administration and others that it isn't doing enough to curb misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines.

Details: Meedan will host a series of virtual training sessions between its team of doctors, scientists and other health experts and Facebook’s third-party fact-checkers on how to better spot and fact-check misinformation.

  • Meedan’s Digital Health Lab compiles research-based evidence from experts to to address digital health information misinformation. A large part of what Meedan focuses on is providing fact-check trainings specifically for health information to groups that need support.
  • Moving forward, the partnership will give Facebook's fact-checking partners access to Meedan’s health experts whenever they need immediate help with health-related fact-checks.

By the numbers: Facebook has spent $84 million on programs supporting its fact-checking efforts through the Facebook Journalism Project in the past five years.

  • It relies on third-party fact-checkers to police misinformation so it's not on the hook itself for making tough calls on controversial material.

Flashback: Facebook in February said it will take tougher action against claims that vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccination, are not effective or safe. That position was a reversal from its previous position on vaccine misinformation.

The big picture: Fears of a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections in the U.S. are driving more Republicans and right-leaning media, as well as tech companies, to promote vaccinations and combat misinformation.

Go deeper

Sep 21, 2021 - Technology

Scoop: More boycotts coming for Facebook

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Leaders of the Stop Hate For Profit social media boycott group are discussing whether to organize another campaign against Facebook in light of an explosive investigative series from the Wall Street Journal, Common Sense CEO Jim Steyer tells Axios.

The intrigue: Sources tell Axios that another group, separate from the Stop Hate For Profit organization, is expected to launch its own ad boycott campaign this week.

Oversight Board calls for more Facebook transparency

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Facebook Oversight Board on Tuesday called on the social media giant to "commit to transparency" in the wake of a Wall Street Journal report last week that millions of high-profile users get special treatment by content moderators.

Why it matters: Although initially funded by Facebook, the Oversight Board operates independently as a kind of Supreme Court for the platform. The company has agreed to obey its rulings on specific content disputes, but the board's broader policy advice is strictly on a "recommendation" basis.

Sep 22, 2021 - Health

Minority-serving institutions to help create pipeline for more diverse public health workforce

President Joe Biden speaks while meeting with Latino community leaders at the White House in early August. Photo: Shawn Thew/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ten minority-serving higher-ed institutions will be awarded about $75 million to recruit and teach Black, Latino, Native American, AAPI and other students of color in public health professions to foster better representation in tackling future public health emergencies, the Biden administration will announce Wednesday.

Why it matters: Outdated technology infrastructure and messy data collection during the pandemic fueled misinformation and prevented real-time action for hardest-hit and highest-risk communities.