In its ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of harmful misinformation about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on its apps, Facebook plans to start showing messages in News Feed to people who have liked, reacted or commented on such information that have since been removed. This will alert them about fake news.
Facebook also added recently a new section to its COVID-19 Information Center called Get the Facts, which will be updated every week, to make it easier for people to find accurate information about the pandemic. It includes fact-checked articles from its partners that debunk misinformation about the virus.
The social media giant has been trying to prevent the spread of misinformation on its apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Telegram and Instagram ever since COVID-19 was declared a global public health emergency in January.
The company has now directed its over 2.5 billion monthly users to resources from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health authorities through its COVID-19 Information Center and pop-ups on Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook is working with over 60 fact-checking organizations that review and rate content in more than 50 languages around the world. It is also adding more organizations and languages for this program.
It also recently announced the first round of recipients of its $1 million grant program in partnership with the International Fact-Checking Network, providing grants to 13 fact-checking organizations around the world.
Once a piece of content is rated false by fact-checkers, Facebook reduces its distribution and shows warning labels with more contexts. Based on one fact-check, it is able to kick off similarity detection methods that identify duplicates of debunked stories.
During the month of March, Facebook displayed warnings on about 40 million posts related to COVID-19 on Facebook, based on around 4,000 articles by its independent fact-checking partners.
To date, it has also removed hundreds of thousands of pieces of misinformation that could lead to imminent physical harm, such as claims like drinking bleach cures the virus.
Recently, Facebook has announced plans to invest $100 million in the news industry to help the news companies during these times as advertisers cut back on spending during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
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