Facebook Gears up to Combat Misinformation

Photo: William Iven

After WhatsApp, the parent organisation Facebook too have geared up its fighting against Misinformation. Co Founder Mark Zuckerberg today officially announced through his official page where he wrote, “I want to share an update on the work we’re doing to connect people with accurate information and limit the spread of misinformation about Covid-19. On Facebook and Instagram, we’ve now directed more than 2 billion people to authoritative health resources via our Covid-19 Information Center and educational pop-ups, with more than 350 million people clicking through to learn more.

He further said, “We’re also continuing our efforts to reduce misinformation. Since the beginning of March, we’ve expanded our fact-checking coverage to more than a dozen new countries and now work with over 60 fact-checking organizations that review content in more than 50 languages.

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. In March, we displayed warnings on about 40 million posts related to Covid-19 based on 4,000 articles reviewed by independent fact-checkers. When people saw those warning labels, 95% of the time they did not go on to view the original content.

We’re also launching a new feature called Get The Facts, a section of our Covid-19 Information Center featuring articles written by independent fact-checking partners debunking misinformation about the coronavirus. We will also soon begin showing messages in News Feed to people who previously engaged with harmful misinformation related to Covid-19 that we’ve since removed, connecting them with accurate information.

Through this crisis, one of my top priorities is making sure that you see accurate and authoritative information across all of our apps. I hope all of you are staying safe, healthy and informed“. 

It is important to mention here that, among the top five IT companies of the world, Google has already initiated its fight against misinformation and has trained independent fact checkers across the world including India. Social Media mainly WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube are platforms through which fake news spreads like wildfire. Therefore the latest move by Facebook in the wake of the Pandemic is no doubt, a welcoming move.

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