Facebook, world’s biggest social network, says it will start removing false contents aimed at misinforming people about the spread of coronavirus.
In a statement released on its blog, the social media giant said the move was necessary following the declaration of global emergency on the deadly virus by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday.
Facebook stated its support to the ongoing global campaign against the outbreak of the decease would be in three forms.
This, it said, will include: “Limiting misinformation and harmful content, providing helpful information and support, and empowering partners with data tools.”
“As the global public health community works to keep people safe, Facebook is supporting their work in several ways, most especially by working to limit the spread of misinformation and harmful content about the virus and connecting people to helpful information,” the statement read.
“Our global network of third-party fact-checkers are continuing their work reviewing content and debunking false claims that are spreading related to the coronavirus.
“When they rate information as false, we limit its spread on Facebook and Instagram and show people accurate information from these partners. We also send notifications to people who already shared or are trying to share this content to alert them that it’s been fact-checked.
“We will also start to remove content with false claims or conspiracy theories that have been flagged by leading global health organizations and local health authorities that could cause harm to people who believe them. We are doing this as an extension of our existing policies to remove content that could cause physical harm.
“We’re focusing on claims that are designed to discourage treatment or taking appropriate precautions. This includes claims related to false cures or prevention methods — like drinking bleach cures the coronavirus — or claims that create confusion about health resources that are available.
“We will also block or restrict hashtags used to spread misinformation on Instagram, and are conducting proactive sweeps to find and remove as much of this content as we can.”