In March this year, Facebook displayed warnings on about 40 million posts related to COVID-19 based on 4,000 articles reviewed by independent fact-checkers and when people saw those warning labels, 95 percent of the time they did not go on to view the original content.
Stating this, Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said Facebook and Instagram had directed more than 2 billion people to authoritative health resources and more than 350 million people had accessed these authoritative sources to learn more.
In fact, Facebook is soon going to begin showing messages in News Feed to people who previously engaged with harmful misinformation related to COVID-19 that has since then been removed and will connect those users with accurate information.
“We’re also continuing our efforts to reduce misinformation. Since the beginning of March, we’ve expanded our fact-checking coverage to more than a dozen new countries and now work with over 60 fact-checking organizations that review content in more than 50 languages,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post.
He also said that Facebook had been taking down content which contains “harmful misinformation that could lead to imminent physical harm”. “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,” Zuckerberg said.
The Facebook CEO further said that once misinformation is “rated false by fact-checkers, we reduce its distribution, apply warning labels with more context and find duplicates”.
Zuckerberg added that his company is also launching a new feature called Get The Facts, a section of our Covid-19 Information Center featuring articles written by independent fact-checking partners debunking misinformation about the coronavirus.
“We will also soon begin showing messages in News Feed to people who previously engaged with harmful misinformation related to Covid-19 that we’ve since removed, connecting them with accurate information,” he said, adding that through the Covid-19 crisis, one of his “top priorities is making sure that you see accurate and authoritative information across all of our apps”.
Newsmobile is a global fact checker and IFCN signatory. We are also a Facebook global fact checking partner.
You can check out our Covid-19 related Fact Checks here: CORONAVIRUS FACT CHECK