Facebook, Twitter fighting fake news linked to coronavirus


The social network is using aggregated and anonymized mobility data and high-resolution population-density maps to help researchers at Harvard University's School of Public Health and National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan inform their forecasting models for the spread of the virus, and Jin said this initiative may expand to more partners in the coming weeks.

Facebook is putting prompts and modules in its News Feed created to steer users to accurate information, and it is also taking guidance from the WHO.

False cures or prevention methods such as drinking bleach to cure coronavirus have also been doing the rounds of the internet.

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Facebook also announced that it is extending its policy amid the coronavirus to remove content with false claims or conspiracies that are rated false by leading health organisations or local health authorities. Jin said users who click on a hashtag related to the coronavirus will now be served with a "pop-up with credible information".

Coronavirus has taken the world by storm and countries have been scrambling to control the spread of the virus.

Twitter and Google have also stepped up efforts this week to guide their users to verified sources on the subject. The company's website stated this information.

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Similarly, Twitter said in a blogpost Wednesday that it had seen "over 15 million Tweets" on the topic of coronavirus in the past month, "and that trend looks set to continue".

Facebook has reaffirmed its commitment to limiting misinformation by working in conjunction with third-party fact-checkers. The company has not seen an uptick in disinformation since the coronavirus became a worldwide problem, a spokeswoman said. Facebook will also block or limit hashtags used to spread misinformation on Instagram, which it owns. The company restricts the spread of content that the fact-checkers determine to be false and sends notifications about their findings to people who have shared or try to share such posts, according to Jin.

Facebook's announcement marked a bold step to combat misinformation by a company that has drawn fire for allowing political campaigns to run advertisements containing false claims.

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