The World Health Organisation has deemed the novel coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. And it doesn’t help that, as is the nature of the internet, misinformation about it are rife. Facebook has announced that it will do its part to limit the spread of misinformation. And it’s getting help from the health ministries across the world.
In addition to getting help from third-party fact-checkers, the social media company is also getting help from health organisations and authorities. Facebook will start removing content that have been identified as harmful by them. The definition of harmful includes claims that discourage precautions or treatment, or encourages false ones.
As a result, you’ll be less likely to see these fake information on Facebook and Instagram. This includes hashtags on the latter, of which the company says it will be proactively seek out and remove. Those who have sent or are trying to send them will also be informed that it’s been fact checked.
Facebook akan bekerjasama dengan Pertubuhan Kesihatan Sedunia untuk menapis dan menghadkan penyebaran maklumat dan kandungan yang salah atau berbahaya mengenai Novel Koronavirus, dan menyalurkan pengguna Facebook kepada maklumat-maklumat yang berguna.https://t.co/JYmXTJCJpY
— KKMM (@kkmm_gov) January 31, 2020
This will also apply to Malaysia, but as far as we can see, it’s not gone into effect just yet.
While not specifically because of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Twitter is a little ahead on this. Last month, the company expanded its fact checking efforts to Southeast Asia, with health-related searches leading to the Health Ministry’s MyHEALTH portal.
This is another good step in controlling the flow of false information, and preventable diseases as a result. Now, it’s just a question of when this comes into effect.