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Facebook will now notify users liking or sharing coronavirus misinformation

In a bid to contain the spread of misinformation on social media, Facebook will now closely monitor the users engaging in spreading fake news by liking or sharing it further.

twitter-logo Ankita Chakravarti   New Delhi     Last Updated: April 17, 2020  | 14:42 IST

Highlights

  • Facebook will now closely monitor the users engaging in spreading fake news by liking or sharing it further.
  • The tech giant announced on Thursday that it would Starr notifying the users that have liked, shared or interacted in any way with any fake news related to COVID-19
  • Facebook also revealed that it has removed thousands of pieces of misinformation from the social media platform that could lead to physical harm. 

In a bid to contain the spread of misinformation on social media, Facebook will now closely monitor the users engaging in spreading fake news by liking or sharing it further. The tech giant announced on Thursday that it would Starr notifying the users that have liked, shared or interacted in any way with any fake news related to COVID-19 on the social media app. Facebook will direct them towards the correct information available on the site.

People liking or sharing false claims about the coronavirus, suggesting fake cures to the disease and asking people to disobey rules set out by the government will get a message on their news feed which will direct them to a "myth busters" page by the World Health Organisations.

"Once a piece of content is rated false by fact-checkers, we reduce its distribution and show warning labels with more context. Based on one fact-check, we're able to kick off similarity detection methods that identify duplicates of debunked stories. For example, 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, " Guy Rosen, VP Integrity, Facebook wrote in a blog post.

Facebook also revealed that it has removed thousands of pieces of misinformation from the social media platform that could lead to physical harm.
"When people saw those warning labels, 95% of the time they did not go on to view the original content. To date, we've also removed hundreds of thousands of pieces of misinformation that could lead to imminent physical harm. Examples of misinformation we've removed include harmful claims like drinking bleach cures the virus and theories like physical distancing is ineffective in preventing the disease from spreading," he added.

Facebook has partnered with13 fact-checking organizations around the world to support projects in Italy, Spain, Colombia, India, the Republic of Congo, and other nations.

The social media giant also listed down the steps they are taking to keep users away from the misinformation that is floating on social media.

—Facebook will connect with people who have unintentionally or intentionally interacted with harmful misinformation about the virus. It will then direct users to the page by WHO that has all the information.

— To make it simpler for people to access accurate information Facebook has added a COVID-19 Information Center called Get the Facts.

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