Facebook adds new tool to fight Covid-19 related misinformation

Facebook has introduced a new tool to curb misinformation related to Covid-19 social media posts. Now when a user posts something that is related to Covid-19, they will receive a pop-up notification that will help the user navigate official health resources that can provide additonal context about the post they are creating.

Over the last few months, Facebook has made some of the following changes on their platform to fight COVID-19 related misinformation.

  • Sought to remove all posts across its platforms which present false claims about cures, treatments, the availability of essential services, and/or the location and severity of the outbreak
  • Banned all ads and commerce listings which seek to capitalize in fears, including all listings of face masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and COVID-19 testing kits.
  • Invested more funding into fact-checking resources to give them more capacity to detect and flag potentially misleading posts
  • Started removing all non-official COVID-19 accounts from recommendations listings on Instagram, as well as any AR effects related to coronavirus
  • Added labels to show people when they've received a forwarded or chain message on WhatsApp
    Set a limit on the number of times messages can be forwarded on WhatsApp to reduce the spread of viral messages (which is also now being tested on Messenger)
  • Added new Google search prompts in WhatsApp threads to confirm message details
    Added an official COVID-19 information centre, which highlights official updates from relevant organizations, and is displayed in user News Feeds.
  • Improved its machine learning tools in order to better identify and ban accounts engaged in mass messaging

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