Get the Facts: Facebook red-flags misinformation flow on COVID-19

By Satya Priya BN  Published on  17 April 2020 5:15 AM GMT
Get the Facts: Facebook red-flags misinformation flow on COVID-19

Facebook is all set to launch 'Get the Facts’ feature on Thursday, to counter misinformation flow on COVID-19.

'Get the Facts’ will be COVID-19 Information Center featuring articles written by independent fact-checking partners debunking misinformation about Corona Pandemic.

This follows the outrage against the social media giant for failing to counter the misinformation flow. Facebook has now announced an update that will assist its efforts to reduce misinformation.

In another feature, when users like or react to a post which shares misinformation, a message box in relevant language will appear encouraging them to visit the World Health Organization’s site. The misinformation about COVID-19 will be removed from the news feed of the users and the accurate information will be offered to them.

When content is deemed harmful misinformation leading to imminent physical harm, it will be taken down.

“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. For other misinformation, once it is rated false by fact-checkers, we reduce its distribution, apply warning labels with more context and find duplicates. In March, we displayed warnings on about 40 million posts related to COVID-19 based on 4,000 articles reviewed by independent fact-checkers. When people saw those warning labels, 95% of the time they did not go on to view the original content.” Said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in his statement.

Facebook was under pressure to curb the misinformation flow on its platform even before the pandemic. The company has been striving to put a check on this flow ever since. In March 2020, it partnered with as many as 60 fact-checking organizations to review content in more than 50 languages in various countries. Now it is taking the fight to the next step that is to present the users with accurate information.

There are about two billion people who are using Facebook’s main platform and Instagram. Now the company is trying to restrict the consumption of misinformation by the users, which is a humongous task. The company has also limited the forwards on its WhatsApp, to curb misinformation.

Though many are skeptical about the success of curbing misinformation, the efforts put up by the social media giant are welcomed by most of the people.

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