While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is already quite dreary, what makes it even worse is the dissemination of fake news. People have flooded Facebook and Twitter with treatments, remedies, news, and stats regarding COVID-19 without checking their authenticity. Consequently, the flurry of fake news and misinformation is contributing towards the rise in panic among the public. However, Facebook have now announced important measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 misinformation.
Facebook Limit COVID-19 Misinformation
In a recent post, Guy Rosen, VP Integrity a Facebook, has announced major steps to limit COVID-19 misinformation.
Sharing how Facebook has worked towards spreading useful information among users, Rosen stated that the platform helped more than 2 billion users to reach out to the facts from credible resources via COVID-19 Information Center.
However, this effort started to go in vain as fake news and misinformation flooded the platform. Although, Facebook has collaborated with over 60 fact-checking organizations to review the content shared. They strived to reduce the dissemination of false reports and their duplicates whilst flagging them.
Yet, they will now take further steps to limit the spread of fake news regarding the pandemic.
The first of these steps is to alert users when they would come across misinformation. Specifically, Facebook will display messages in users’ News Feed if they interact with harmful misinformation. As stated in the post,
We’re going to start showing messages in News Feed to people who have liked, reacted or commented on harmful misinformation about COVID-19 that we have since removed. These messages will connect people to COVID-19 myths debunked by the WHO including ones we’ve removed from our platform for leading to imminent physical harm.
They have also launched a new feature in their COVID-19 Information Center, ‘Get the Facts’. This feature will include select fact-checked articles through their News Curation team. Presently, the feature is available in the US which will soon roll out globally.
Facebook’s Fight Against COVID-19 Fake News
The present move from Facebook is merely an extension of its previous attempts to fight fake news.
Especially, in times of COVID-19 pandemic, Facebook is particularly focusing on limiting the spread of misinformation through its products.
Recently, the tech giant announced a similar move for WhatsApp by limiting the number of recipients while forwarding messages to only 1 user at a time.
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