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. To fight off misinformation and get the right information out there to billions of people across the globe, Facebook is putting COVID-19 information page atop your newsfeed.
The new page according to Bloomberg, will disseminate verified materials from reliable sources such as the World Health Organization. This will enable the social media behemoth to counter the spread of fake news about the virus, which has now been described as a global pandemic.
The information page will among several others, feature content by academics and celebrities, and will amplify tips and best practices from the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on issues like social distancing and hand washing.
Facebook’s latest move is not just based on its desire to keep the people informed, the platform seems to be experiencing a surge in the number of people who now have to rely on the social media behemoth for information about the virus. People now rely on the platform for latest on the COVID-19 virus—hence the need for this latest move.
Just last week, the UK’s Department for International Development [DFID] announced that it would release the sum of $630,000 H2H Network to help fight fake news about the coronavirus.
The Humanitarian-to-Humanitarian [H2H] had previous success in fighting the Ebola outbreak, and is now being assigned an even bigger task in terms of helping to stop the spread of fake news about the virus.
Africa and South East Asia appear worst hit among regions—and no wonder the DFID is setting aside the aforementioned sum to fight misinformation about the COVID-19 virus.
“False claims and conspiracy theories have spread rapidly on social media, touting ‘cures’ like drinking bleach or rubbing mustard and garlic into your skin. These pose a serious risk to health and can speed up the spread of the virus, by stopping people taking simple practical, preventative steps like washing their hands,” a statement on the UK government website reads.
The DFID will be relying on top influencers on YouTube and Facebook including Bianca Gonzalez a Filipino TV presenter and YouTuber, Bangladeshi doctor Jahangir Kabir, and Indonesian health blog KlikDokter.
Pinterest is working round the clock to help people get accurate information about the virus. Pinterest launched “custom search results” to help wage war against misinformation about the coronavirus codenamed COVID-19 by the World Health Organization.