Apr 16, 2020

Coronavirus: Facebook alerts users exposed to misinformation

Facebook users who have read, watched or shared false coronavirus content will receive pop-up warnings as the company attempts to combat the spread of misinformation. A Facebook spokesman said the move will "Connect people who may have interacted with harmful misinformation about the virus with the truth from authoritative sources, in case they see or hear these claims again off of Facebook". Researchers say millions of Facebook users continue to be exposed to coronavirus misinformation, without any warning on the platform. Avaaz researchers analysed a sample of more than 100 pieces of Facebook coronavirus misinformation on the website's English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Italian and French versions. "If a piece of content contains harmful misinformation that could lead to imminent physical harm, then we'll take it down. 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. For other misinformation, once it is rated false by fact-checkers, we reduce its distribution, apply warning labels with more context and find duplicates."

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