Misleading information on Coronavirus flooding on Social media leads to critical actions by Facebook

The deadly coronavirus has become the talk of the town due to its outbreak. Not only China, but more than a dozen countries have been affected causing hundreds of deaths. As the life-threatening disease grows, the social media is flooded with falsified reports involving the coronavirus. 

Various myths and false cures about the disease began to spread on social platforms mocking the country’s exotic meat trade. Putting a stop on all the hoaxes, Facebook took the high road and removed the false content. The company’s head of health stated: “remove content with false claims or conspiracy theories that have been flagged by leading global health organizations and local health authorities that could cause harm to people who believe them.”

Prioritizing legitimate information Facebook aims to increase the fact-checking and monitoring efforts on other platforms like Whatsapp and Instagram as well. Limiting harmful content the company is also blocking the hashtags on Instagram spreading fake news. Combating the fake news issue, Facebook has limited the distribution of content containing health-related misinformation to 2.9 Billion worldwide and is continuously working to bring it down. 

Facebook, under fierce scrutiny worldwide over its privacy and content practices, had deleted vaccine hoaxes in Samoa when a measles outbreak killed dozens late last year. At that time, the misinformation was widespread which induced Facebook to take an extreme action. Continuing the activity, handling the false claims on Coronavirus Facebook is expanding its definition of ‘Physical Harm’ by including misinformation. 

Empowered with Data Tools, the platform is already working on collecting and spreading accurate information about the situation retrieving it from reliable sources.