Like it or not, a lot of people still get their news from social media. Places like Facebook aren’t really built for that, but it is where we get our information now. And that means wading through a cesspool of misinformation as well. The social media giant has been fighting to identify and remove content that brings about dangerous misinformation and now they’re bringing it to another level. They will let users know that they have interacted with fake COVID-19-related news that they have already removed.
Facebook has been working hard with its fact-checking partners to identify and stop the spread of harmful and sometimes dangerous misinformation. They have more than 60 partners globally and they’re adding even more. They’ve also given grant programs to some of these organizations to further support them. When they identify a piece of content as fake, they reduce distribution and even put warning labels and if warranted, they have removed content that can lead to imminent physical harm.
But now they are also adding another step to this fight. They will be showing messages in users’ News Feed if they have previously liked, reacted, or commented on a piece of content that has been labeled misinformation and has since then been removed. Aside from information people that they may have read something that is wrong, they will also be directed to content that debunks these common COVID-19 myths from the World Health Organization and other authoritative sources.
They are also adding a Get the Facts section in their COVID-19 Information Center. You will see there fact-checked articles from partner content providers featuring debunked misinformation about anything related to the coronavirus. This new feature is available in the U.S. and will also be added soon to the main Facebook News Feed as well. There was no indication if it will be rolling out globally.
Facebook says that the messages telling users they interacted with fake news will be rolling out in the coming weeks. Some have commented that if it’s something they can do for COVID-19, maybe it’s also something they need to do for other things like politics, especially when there’s an upcoming election.