TORONTO — Facebook says it is stepping up efforts to stop misinformation from spreading about COVID-19.
The social media giant says a newsfeed pop-up now directs visitors to the Public Health Agency of Canada website and also appears as the first result for people who search for coronavirus.
Facebook is also removing content with claims and conspiracy theories that have been debunked by the World Health Organization or other credible health experts.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says in a message posted to his page that the moves are meant to stamp out claims that could make someone more likely to get sick or avoid treatment.
This includes claims about false cures or prevention methods, and claims that create confusion about available health resources.
The global outbreak of COVID-19 has spread to every continent except Antarctica since emerging in China late last year.
“We’re focused on making sure everyone can access credible and accurate information,” Zuckerberg says in a note posted late Wednesday.
“This is critical in any emergency, but it’s especially important when there are precautions you can take to reduce the risk of infection.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2020.
The Canadian Press