Facebook closes Turkish daily’s bookshop account for promoting vaccines misinformation

Facebook has closed the bookshop account of the Turkish newspaper Sözcü for promoting a book by journalist Soner Yalçın who said he had exposed what he said were links between childhood vaccinations and the Rockefeller family.

According to Sözcü and Yalçın, the book “Kara Kutu” (Black Box) shines a spotlight on the dark side of modern medicine. But medical professionals in Turkey widely criticised the book for promoting conspiracy theories related to childhood vaccinations. 

Bilal Ak, the daily’s sales manager, said on Twitter that Facebook had closed the account for running advertisements of the book, saying the theories in it contradicted information provided by global health institutions such as the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“Soner Yalçın seems to have put a spoke strongly to the global system’s wheel,” Ak said, criticising Facebook’s move. 

But many on Twitter told Ak that Facebook had done the right thing as the book was written by a non-expert and contained unfounded claims on medical issues. 

“Vaccine misinformation is a major threat to global health that could reverse decades of progress made in tackling preventable diseases,” the WHO said in September after Facebook announced that it would direct users seeking vaccine information on Instagram, Facebook and other forums towards facts, not misinformation.