Technology Facebook adds coronavirus ‘information center’ to News Feed
Facebook will put vetted coronavirus information at the top of the News Feed
A new ‘information center’ is coming within the next day, CEO Mark Zuckerberg saysThe introduction of the information center comes after Facebook had been promoting links to the WHO and CDC inside the News Feed itself, as well as on Instagram. Facebook has also linked to the organizations in search results when people run queries on “coronavirus” or “COVID-19.
Facebook is taking new steps to encourage its billions of users to take social distancing seriously amid the coronavirus pandemic. The social network will start placing a coronavirus "information center" at the top of users' News Feeds, Mark Zuckerberg announced.
The messages will begin appearing in users' News Feeds in the next 24 hours in the US, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, and be available in more countries and languages over time.
Like similar efforts the company has undertaken, the messages will provide users with accurate and up-to-date news about coronavirus in an effort to reduce misinformation. But in addition to sources like the CDC and World Health Organization, Zuckerberg said it will also include Facebook posts from local officials and celebrities encouraging users to cooperate with social distancing efforts.
Facebook bans coronavirus ads that promote 'cures' and fan hysteria
Facebook is doubling down on its bid to stop the spread of coronavirus misinformation. Following its announcement of plans to flag and remove false information, the platform will now also ban ads that promise to cure or prevent the virus, as well as those that "create a sense of urgency" about it. Speaking to Business Insider, a Facebook spokesperson said, "We recently implemented a policy to prohibit ads that refer to the coronavirus and create a sense of urgency, like implying a limited supply, or guaranteeing a cure or prevention. We also have policies for surfaces like Marketplace that prohibit similar behavior.
"We're designing it to be very adaptive so that on a day-to-day basis the messages ... vary from location to location," Zuckerberg said during a call with reporters announcing the update. He noted that while many people are aware of the threat posed by coronavirus, "a lot of what needs to happen is people need to be convinced" to take social distancing seriously.
The information center will also offer statistics tracking confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses, and include information on school closures, according to screenshots of the feature. Another section, titled "Why You Should Stay Home," links to articles about the importance of social distancing amid the pandemic.
The information center is the latest, and perhaps most aggressive, step Facebook has taken in the wake of the pandemic. The social network also created a news hub aimed, given to the WHO and other organizations, and taken fact checking to beat back coronavirus hoaxes.
Twitter will require users to remove tweets that could increase the spread of coronavirus .
Tweets that violate its rules include those that state "social distancing is not effective."Under the new guidance, which take effect today, the social network will bar tweets that go against the recommendations of local and global health authorities or encourage the use of ineffective or harmful treatments. Some of the examples Twitter provided included tweets that state "social distancing is not effective" and "if you can hold your breath for 10 seconds, you do not have coronavirus.