As COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, so does misinformation about the virus. In an effort to stop the spread of fake news about COVID-19, Facebook has removed and/or labeled millions of misleading posts.
Facebook’s COVID-19 Takedown
As you probably already know, Facebook has become a breeding ground for COVID-19 conspiracy theories and false information. In this quarter’s Community Standards Enforcement Report, it was revealed that Facebook has removed 7 million posts containing COVID-19 misinformation.
The majority of these posts contained misleading information about fake COVID-19 cures and preventative myths. Meanwhile, another 98 million misleading posts received warning labels. This is in addition to Facebook’s crackdown on hate speech
, which also led to the removal of several million posts this quarter.
Facebook’s attempt to put a stop to misinformation hasn’t only affected everyday users. After US President, Donald Trump, posted a video of his Fox News interview, Facebook quickly removed it. In the video, Trump mentioned that children are “almost immune” to COVID-19, which goes against Facebook’s policies on COVID-19 misinformation.
Facebook Provides More Context to COVID-19 Content
From now on, whenever you share a link related to COVID-19 you’ll receive a notification. This notification informs you how old the article is, and will also help you identify the original source.
Facebook’s vice president of feed and stories, John Hegeman, described the purpose of the notification in an About Facebook post, saying:
The notification will help people understand the recency and source of the content before they share it.
Facebook hopes that this will force users to stop and think before they share a potentially misleading post. The only exceptions to the warning notification are credible health institutions, such as the World Health Organization.
The pop-up will also provide a link to Facebook’s COVID-19 Information Center. This page gives people access to trustworthy COVID-19 information from both local and global health organizations.
How to Find the Truth About COVID-19 Online
Misinformation can spread like wildfire. Once one post is shared, there’s no telling how many times it will get passed around. Facebook’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 misinformation will hopefully help squash the myths about the virus.
For accurate information about this pandemic, check out these sites you can trust for reliable information about COVID-19
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