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Facebook wants to stop the wave of disinformation by the coronavirus

  • 99 percent of cases of coronavirus infection are found in China

  • In fact, by the time a global health emergency was declared, there were less than 100 infected outside the country

  • So far, the death toll from the disease is 170, according to the BBC

Among the issues that have seemed to dominate the agenda of the past few days, is the coronavirus. The disease that began in Wuhan, China and has spread to at least 18 countries around the world has already wreaked havoc on various segments and industries. Some have begun to doubt the reaction capacity of certain passes To stop the infection. Several brands have had to partially stop your operations. But even worse is the misinformation.

As with virtually any viral or controversial issue, the coronavirus caused a wave of false information, misleading news and conspiracy theories. In accordance with BuzzFeed NewsMultiple portals are exaggerating the number of people in quarantine, as well as those infected and dead. The guardian collects several myths about the origin of this infection. And according CNN, several videos falsely show a state of chaos in Wuhan.

Also, as is almost always the case with disinformation, the wave of false content about the coronavirus has been largely driven by social networks. Of course, it is not that these platforms have consciously driven these rumors and misleading ideas. However, as usual, the protocols of these companies are not enough to stop the phenomenon. So certain agents, including Facebook, are going to take action on the matter.

Facebook activate coronavirus anti-disinformation plan

In accordance with Adge, Mark Zuckerberg's social network is preparing to remove fake content around this outbreak. According to the platform, publications with false statements or conspiracy theories that were reported by international health authorities will begin to be removed. Facebook reaffirms that these posts they must also be a risk to the integrity of people who believe in some supposed data about the coronavirus.


Related Notes


There is already a very similar measure on Facebook for content in general. As the measure now taken by the coronavirus, seeks to eliminate posts that may cause damage to the integrity of people. In addition to removing publications, the platform continues its usual work of fact-checking With several allies. It is also expected that some of the measures will reach Instagram. Especially hashtags that distribute false or misleading data.

Reactive work vs proactive task

Not only does Facebook try to reduce the effects of fake news around the coronavirus. In accordance with CNN, Twitter and Google are also implementing their respective projects. The Alphabet subsidiary will begin to display a button with information from the World Health Organization every time someone searches for the pathogen in their search engine. For its part, the microblogging network recommend its users to search for news and data from reliable sources.

All the misinformation around the coronavirus only demonstrates a problem that almost all social networks have been charging for a long time. Moderation of content in these types of projects (where users produce everything) is a very complex challenge. Because of the pressure of regulators and the public in general, many platforms have tried to provide a viable solution. But again and again the answers do not seem to solve the central challenge.

In general, social networks only react to challenges, instead of finding a proactive response. In other words, in the case of the coronavirus, we usually wait for the posts with false data are reported by your software or the public. Until ah they are going to be removed. Of course, designing a preventive system is much more difficult than one that prevents such cases from occurring. But it will be worthwhile to try to stop its incidence from before.

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