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Facebook will now warn users before they share any COVID-19 related links

Ankita Chakravarti     August 13, 2020

Facebook on Wednesday announced that it is officially rolling out a new notification screen that would alert users before they share links related to COVID-19. The social media giant in a blog post revealed that the users will receive a pop-up notification from Facebook before they share COVID related news. The pop-up notification will inform the users about the source and redirect them to the COVID-19 information center.

Facebook has rolled out the new feature to curb the spread of misinformation regarding the novel coronavirus. Announcing the new feature, the social media giant in a blog post revealed, "We're starting to roll out a global notification screen to give people more context about COVID-19 related links when they are about to share them. The notification will help people understand the recency and source of the content before they share it. It will also direct people to our COVID-19 Information Center to ensure people have access to credible information about COVID-19 from global health authorities."

The notification pop-up has been introduced to let the user know about the credibility and the time of the article that they are about to share on the social media platform. Having said that, the new feature will not stop the user in any way from sharing the article if even the information that it carries is false. For instance, if an article that you are about to share is three months old, Facebook will tell you about it but you will still get the option of sharing it irrespective of its date of posting.

However, Facebook revealed that the information shared by credible health authorities and global health organizations like the World Health Organisation will not have this notification feature. By doing this, Facebook has ensured that it won't stop the authorized health platforms from sharing information about the coronavirus on its platform. "We want to ensure we don't slow the spread of information from credible health authorities, so content posted by government health authorities and recognized global health organizations, like the World Health Organization, will not have this notification," the Facebook blog read.

Earlier this week, Facebook revealed it has removed over 7 million false posts related to COVID-19. Facebook said that it took action on 22.5 million content in the second quarter as compared to the 9.6 million in Q1. Similarly, on Instagram, Facebook removed more than 3.3 million objectionable content in the second quarter as compared to the 808,900 in the first quarter of the year.

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