COVID-19: Strict vigil in 12 airports in Northeast. (Xinhua/Liu Ying/IANS)
COVID-19: Strict vigil in 12 airports in Northeast. (Xinhua/Liu Ying/IANS)

Facebook gives WHO free ads in battle with coronavirus misinformation

By Bhargav Acharya Time of article published Mar 4, 2020

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INTERNATIONAL - Facebook Inc (FB.O) will provide free advertisements to the World Health Organization (WHO) as it seeks to ensure users are not misinformed about the virus, its risks and how to react to it, Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said on Tuesday.

"We're giving the WHO as many free ads as they need for their coronavirus response along with other in-kind support," Zuckerberg said in the Facebook post.

Users who search for posts on the virus on Facebook would now see a pop-up that directs them to the WHO or local health authority for the latest information, Zuckerberg said.

He also pledged again that the company would remove false claims and conspiracy theories flagged by leading global health organizations to help combat misinformation about the coronavirus.

Facebook will be working with global health experts and give support and “millions more in ad credits” to other organizations.

In February, the company said it would ban advertisements for products offering any cures or prevention around the coronavirus outbreak, and those that create a sense of urgency around the situation.

With five schools downing shutters as a precautionary measure against coronavirus, the demand for masks and sanitisers has seen a significant rise in the Delhi-NCR region. So pronounced has been the impact that in many places, rumours of chemist shops running out of masks and sanitisers are doing the rounds. (File Photo: IANS)
The disease, believed to have originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has spread around the world, infecting nearly 93,000 people globally as of March 3.

Other social media platforms have been taking steps to improve their coverage of the virus. Searches on Pinterest for “coronavirus” take users to a curated web page while WHO launched an account on video app TikTok late last week.


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