Nations are already overwhelmed, and medical facilities are being overstretched—but things can be a lot better if we do not have the additional burden of having to deal with misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic. Social media companies like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are working round the clock to filter out fake news, and ensure that users only get the right information about the virus and its spread. Facebook in particular has been very active in that regard—and the company has launched a new coronavirus community hub on Messenger to help fight misinformation.
The new community hub will serve as a useful resource base for individuals, government and organizations who will be able to get and share reliable information about the virus from credible sources.
“Organizations can use Messenger to stay connected with their communities, share accurate and timely information, respond to common questions and more.” Facebook said in a blog post.
More and more people are engaging with Facebook Messenger these days—understandably so because of the coronavirus pandemic. At this stage it is important to help them [users] get information that is from reliable sources.
“Around the world, we’ve seen significant increases in people using Messenger for group calls to stay in touch with their loved ones. Globally, 70% more people are participating in group video calls and time spent on group video calls has doubled,” wrote Stan Chudnovsky, VP of Messenger per TechCrunch.
Closely related to this story, there is a possibility that Facebook could soon start restricting the number of messages you can forward at a go on Messenger. This is coming on the heels on recent rise in the number of misinformation online.
The social media giant has been in the forefront of fighting fake news in the last couple of years, and seems to be doubling up along that line. Lately, Facebook placed coronavirus information page atop users’ newsfeeds.
The restricting on the number of forwarded messages is coming months after the social media giant brought similar update to WhatsApp. While this does not completely eliminate fake news; it could help to slow down the spread on Messenger.
If or when launched, the feature would probably restrict the number of chats you can forward to other contacts to five. Five is also the maximum number of messages you can forward at a time on WhatsApp, which in a way has helped to slow down misinformation. That said, more still needs to be done if misinformation must be eliminated or reduced on the social media.
One of the biggest obstacles the world has to overcome as the battle against the deadly coronavirus intensifies is fake news. Mischief makers understand that people want information since the virus is a new one, and that leaves a lot of room for fear.