‘Win KES 5000, COVID-19 Government Relief fund’. ‘5-G causes Coronavirus!!‘. These are some of the misleading links and messages we get about Coronavirus on Facebook.
It is unfortunate that some of us have fallen prey to these scams. Thankfully, Facebook will start warning users if they shared or engaged with articles and links that contain false information about COVID-19.
Facebook Fights Against Coronavirus Misinformation
“We’ve taken down hundreds of thousands of pieces of misinformation related to COVID-19. This includes theories like drinking bleach cures the virus or that physical distancing is ineffective at preventing the disease from spreading.”
According to mybroadband, CEO Mark Zuckerberg provided an update on how Facebook was ensuring accurate coronavirus information dissemination.
The company launched a dedicated COVID-19 data hub (page) on users’ home feeds back in March. This page provides links to updates from official sources of information based on the user’s location.
The COVID-19 Information Centre includes official cautionary tips from the World Health Organisation (WHO). It also shows links to the pages and websites of several institutes specific to your country.
For example, here in Kenya, it takes you to the official Ministry of Health page with all the information about the pandemic in Kenya.
He adds that 95% of the time people saw these warning labels, they do not go on to view the original content.
The messages warn users who engage with harmful COVID-19 information that the content has since been removed. These messages will also link to accurate information on the topic. In addition, Facebook will be launching a new section in the COVID-19 Information Centre.