Facebook will give free ads to the World Health Organisation as part of its plan to stop the spread of misinformation.
Mark Zuckerberg has revealed the company’s latest response to the spread of lies and false rumours, which have become popular on Facebook, WhatsApp and other platforms as worries about the disease have grown.
“We’re giving the WHO as many free ads as they need for their coronavirus response along with other in-kind support,” he wrote in a Facebook post laying out the company’s new response.
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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 organisations 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 organisations.
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.
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.