Facebook will eliminate false cures, wrong information about coronavirus

Facebook will eliminate false cures, wrong information about coronavirus

The company has struggled to contain the spread of propaganda and hoaxes about the virus, which the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency earlier this week.

Social networks Facebook and Instagram will remove fake information about the Chinese coronavirus, for example, conspiracy theories regarding the spread of the virus.

Facebook said it is closely coordinating with leading health organisations to make it easier for people to connect with accurate information about the situation due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Twitter added that when users search for coronavirus, they will see "credible, authoritative information first".

Facebook says it is working to help limit the spread of misinformation and harmful content on the coronavirus and will focus on providing useful information to people.

"We're focusing on claims that are created to discourage treatment or taking appropriate precautions", Facebook says.

Twitter

Facebook, under fierce scrutiny worldwide in recent years over its privacy practices, has previously removed vaccine misinformation in Samoa, where a measles outbreak killed dozens late last year, after determining the situation was so severe that the inaccuracies were risks to physical harm, a spokeswoman told Reuters, calling the move an "extreme action".

Google announced a similar move Thursday, saying it was working in partnership with the World Health Organization to make resources about coronavirus more "easily accessible".

In 2018, 658 women died while pregnant or within 42 days of the end of pregnancy, and there were 17.4 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show, CNN reported.

As of Wednesday, Twitter said that it had already seen more than 15 million tweets about the coronavirus in four weeks, "and that trend looks set to continue".

It's notable that Facebook has acknowledged misinformation relating to the virus outbreak as a real threat to users and not merely a nuisance. Facebook will block or restrict such content and related hashtags used to spread misinformation on Instagram as well. The step of actually removing misleading content and not just labeling it as such is a significant one for a company that's said it won't fact-check political advertising.

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