Facebook to take action against fake posts about coronavirus

Facebook to take action against fake posts about coronavirus

Facebook to take action against fake posts about coronavirus

That approach has angered critics who say the company has failed to curb the spread of inaccuracies that pose major global health threats.

"We are doing this as an extension of our existing policies to remove content that could cause physical harm", Facebook's Head of Health, Kang-Xing Jin, said in a statement.

Facebook will also begin removing content with false claims or conspiracy theories that have been flagged by global health organizations and local health authorities.

With claims related to false cures or prevention methods for coronavirus, like drinking bleach cures infections, spreading on social media giants like Facebook and Twitter have started taking proactive measures to fight the spread of harmful content, apart from taking action against those who spread misinformation. A pop-up window with "credible information" will also appear when people search for content related to the virus on Facebook or touch a related hashtag on Instagram. Per their update "To make sure you get the best information on the novel coronavirus, resources are available from the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization".

The coronavirus, which as Wired reports has infected over 9,700 people in mainland China and nearly 100 people in 18 other countries, originated from a Wuhan seafood market where wild animals are traded illegally.

Google announced Thursday that when people search for information about the coronavirus, it will pull up a special notice with updates from the WHO.

Searches for coronavirus on Twitter now bring up a link to the Center for Disease Control under the heading "know the facts".

A company spokesperson told CNN Business earlier this week that it had not seen a coordinated increase in disinformation related to the virus, but would "remain vigilant" on the issue. Facebook will also block or limit hashtags used to spread misinformation on Instagram, which it owns.

Facebook's announcement marked a bold step to combat misinformation by a company that has drawn fire for allowing political campaigns to run advertisements containing false claims.

The company will also limit the spread of posts debunked by its third-party fact checkers, and sent users who shared the post a notification.

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