Facebook is combating misinformation during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Fake news is synonymous with digital media. As our online world grew, so did the number of people spreading misinformation, lies, and conspiracy. In a time when accurate reporting is crucial more than ever, Facebook is upping its game to ensure people know when they’ve interacted with inaccurate information.
Users will receive a message in their News Feed when they’ve liked, reacted to, or left a comment on posts that Facebook has flagged as harmful or had to remove. The news came from a blog post posted by Guy Rosen on Facebook’s website. Rosen wrote, “Stopping the spread of misinformation and harmful content about COVID-19 on our apps is also critically important.”
Facebook is currently working with over 60 fact-checking organizations in more than 50 different languages so that it can combat inaccurate information shared on the platform. To highlight exactly what Facebook is up against, Rosen says, “…during the month of March, we displayed warnings on about 40 million posts related to COVID-19 on Facebook, based on around 4,000 articles by our independent fact-checking partners.”
That’s a lot of misinformation Facebook, and its fact-checking team is up against. But there’s evidence that the work they’re doing is having a positive impact on deterring people from consuming the wrong information. Rosen says, “When people saw those warning labels, 95% of the time, they did not go on to view the original content.”
To direct people to accurate information about COVID-19, Facebook has added a new section to the site called Get The Facts. In this section, users will be directed to fact-checked articles that debunk misinformation about COVID-19. At present, however, it seems it’s only limited to users in the US, Facebook is yet to confirm a global rollout of the feature.
It’s a strong move from Facebook, who, in the past, has been accused of not doing enough to combat fake news in the digital era. Hopefully, the approach will keep everyone well informed as we continue to battle the worst global pandemic of a generation.
Lead image is a screenshot