Thursday, 27 February, 2020

Facebook fights spread of misinformation about virus online

Facebook is providing free advertising credits to organizations running coronavirus education campaigns Zuraisham Salleh  iStock Facebook is providing free advertising credits to organizations running coronavirus education campaigns Zuraisham Salleh iStock
Anita Tucker | 01 February, 2020, 00:27

Facebook also announced that it is extending its policy amid the coronavirus to remove content with false claims or conspiracies that are rated false by leading health organisations or local health authorities. Immediately after the WHO officially declared the coronavirus outbreak an worldwide public health emergency, Google confirmed that the company will be showing SOS alert every time someone performs a search related to the outbreak.

When false content is found by Facebook's third-party fact-checkers, the company will "limit its spread", and a notification would be sent to those who had already shared or were trying to share the content with a link to the fact-checked information. Facebook is also removing content with false claims or conspiracy theories that have been flagged by global health organizations and local health authorities, particularly focusing on claims created to discourage treatment or taking appropriate precautions.

Facebook Inc said on Thursday it will take down misinformation about China's fast-spreading coronavirus in a rare departure from its approach to health content, after the World Health Organisation declared the outbreak a global health emergency.

Facebook said its outside fact-checkers will also keep working to debunk false information about the virus. "Not all of these steps are fully in place". Other countries are reporting cases as people who have traveled to China return home.

Mourinho jabs ex-club Manchester United on Bruno Fernandes transfer saga
A striker is classified as a priority, but attempts to lure Erling Haaland into the club remain unsuccessful. Paul Pogba continues to fight his various ailments, while Scott McTominay is still on the sidelines.

Google announced a similar move Thursday, saying it was working in partnership with the World Health Organization to make resources about coronavirus more "easily accessible".

"When they rate information as false, we limit its spread on Facebook and Instagram and show people accurate information from these partners".

A company spokesperson told CNN Business earlier this week that it had not seen a coordinated increase in disinformation related to the virus, but would "remain vigilant" on the issue. Facebook will block or restrict such content and related hashtags used to spread misinformation on Instagram as well. The alert would be the top result anyone sees, offering safety tips and the latest updates from the WHO.

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