FACEBOOK is going to start warning users if they’ve “interacted” with harmful coronavirus claims.
The alert will go out to anyone who has liked, reacted or commented on a piece of COVID-19 misinformation that’s been removed.
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The messages users will receive will connect people to myths debunked by the World Health Organisation.
They’ll be able to read the truth of the matter, with a detailed explanation on why the claim they read was false.
Facebook says the messages will start going out to users “in the coming weeks”.
This is separate from the new ‘Get The Facts’ hub inside Facebook’s COVID-19 Information Centre.
In that section, users can find fact-c heckled articles debunking coronavirus fake news.
Sadly, this hub is still limited to the USA – and nowhere else in the world.
Facebook has also given grants to 13 fact-checking organisations around the world, as part of a $1million fund.
“Through this crisis, one of my top priorities is making sure that you see accurate and authoritative information across all of our apps,” said Mark Zuckerberg in a Facebook post.
“We’ve taken down hundreds of thousands of pieces of misinformation related to COVID-19.
“Including theories like drinking bleach cures the virus, or that physical distancing is ineffective at preventing the disease from spreading.”
He also added: “If a piece of content contains harmful misinformation that could lead to imminent physical harm, then we’ll take it down.”
Facebook displayed warnings on around 40million posts related to coronavirus in March.
According to the social network, 95% of the time a reader didn’t go on to view the original content.
The firm also says it’s directed more than 2billion people to resources from the WHO and other health authorities.
Tech giants have been scrambling to help reduce the damage caused by coronavirus misinformation.
WhatsApp recently limited the forwarding of “chain messages” to fight the spread of fake news.
And YouTube has vowed to delete all conspiracy theory videos falsely claiming that 5G caused coronavirus.
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In other news, Google Maps has released ‘mobility reports’ showing hotspots where people are still going during lockdowns.
YouTube recently slashed video quality to reduce strain on networks.
Instagram has banned dangerous, reckless and insensitive coronavirus filters.
Criminals are taking advantage of the Covid-19 outbreak by sending scam emails claiming to be from the WHO.
And, we debunked some of the most outrageous coronavirus conspiracy theories.
What else do you think tech firms should be doing to help tackle the coronavirus crisis? Let us know in the comments!
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