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COVID-19: Facebook To Start Alerting Users Who May Have Interacted With Misinformation

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Facebook is continuing in its effort to stem the flow of fake news in this COVID-19 period that has caused much of the world to be on lock down. Today, Facebook announced that it will start notifying users who have liked, commented or interacted with misinformation regarding the COVID-19.

The messages will show up in your News Feed in the event that you’ve liked, commented, reacted on/to posts Facebook flagged as unsafe and later removed from the site.

This was stated in a blog post released by the social media giant which has come under fire in the past year for not doing much to combat the spread of fake news. Facebook VP Integrity Guy Rosen said the changes will be rolled out in the coming weeks as more states in the United States and nations around the world are looking to extend the lock down period into May. Upon notifying you of your possible interaction with misinformation regarding COVID-19, you will be redirected to the World Health Organization (WHO) website section that dispels rumours and myths regarding the disease.

We’re going to start showing messages in News Feed to people who have liked, reacted or commented on harmful misinformation about COVID-19 that we have since removed. These messages will connect people to COVID-19 myths debunked by the WHO including ones we’ve removed from our platform for leading to imminent physical harm. 

Facebook program in partnership with the International Fact-Checking Network has pledged $1 million in grants to 13 organisations so far. “We’ve given grants to 13 fact-checking organizations around the world to support projects in Italy, Spain, Colombia, India, the Republic of Congo, and other nations. We will announce additional recipients in the coming weeks” said Facebook executive Guy Rosen.

Since the campaign against the COVID-19 misinformation began, Facebook says it flagged over 40 million posts deemed false by fact checkers. They say this has worked because they observed that 95 percent of users who saw these flagged contents didn’t go on to read those posts. This time though, they are taking it a step further and removing the false post while redirecting the user to the WHO site.

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