As world health officials issue new guidance and warnings about corona-virus (COVID-19), we’re continuing our work to connect people to information from regional and local health organizations and limit the spread of misinformation and harmful content about the virus
Connecting People to Accurate Information and Helpful Resources Anyone who searches for information related to the virus on Facebook is shown educational pop-ups on top of search results connecting them to expert health organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO). We’ve launched these globally over the last few weeks in all languages on Facebook, directing people to the WHO. In several countries, we are directing people to their local ministry of health. For example, in the US we are directing people to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and in Singapore, we’re directing people to the Singapore Ministry of Health. Moreover, in countries where the WHO has reported person-to-person transmission and deaths, we’ve shown additional messages to people toward the top of News Feed with more information.
Exploitative Tactics in Ads Yesterday we put a new policy into effect to protect people from those trying to exploit this emergency for financial gain. This means we are now prohibiting ads for products that refer to the coronavirus in ways intended to create a panic or imply that their products guarantee a cure or prevent people from contracting it. For example, ads for face masks that imply they are the only ones still available or claim that they are guaranteed to prevent the virus from spreading will not be allowed to run on our platforms.
Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern. As the global public health community works to keep people safe, Facebook is supporting their work in several ways, most especially by working to limit the spread of misinformation and harmful content about the virus and connecting people to helpful information. Here are some specific steps we are taking.
Limiting Misinformation and Harmful Content Our global network of third-party fact-checkers are continuing their work reviewing content and debunking false claims that are spreading related to the coronavirus. When they rate information as false, we limit its spread on Facebook and Instagram and show people accurate information from these partners. We also send notifications to people who already shared or are trying to share this content to alert them that it’s been fact-checked.
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