Facebook launches campaign to tackle COVID-19 misinformation

Facebook has launched a campaign in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) and fact-checking organisations across Europe to tackle misinformation around COVID-19.

The ‘Together Against COVID-19 Misinformation’ campaign will show up on Facebook through a series of graphics featuring tips on how to spot false news. These tips include checking the source, checking how the news makes the user feel, and checking the context of the content.

“Throughout this pandemic we’ve seen how bad information puts lives at risk. With vaccine rollout now underway, knowing what to trust is more crucial than ever,” said Will Moy, Chief Executive of Full Fact. “We’ve worked with Facebook to create three simple questions people should ask themselves when reading about coronavirus online. Where’s it from? What are other news outlets or public health authorities saying? And how does it make you feel? People who make false news try to manipulate your feelings.

“Taking a moment to think before sharing something with friends and family will help keep everyone safe. We all have a part to play in slowing the spread of false claims and dangerous health advice.”

The campaign has rolled out to people across the EU, UK, Norway, Iceland, and Turkey, as well as countries across the Middle East and Africa.

Facebook is also launching a dedicated website in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Polish, and Turkish to provide information on how Facebook is tackling misinformation its platforms.

“The fight against COVID-19 is at a critical stage and connecting people with accurate information is more important than ever. Improving media literacy in partnership with Full Fact is one of a number of steps we’ve taken to tackle coronavirus related misinformation,” said Steve Hatch, Vice President for Northern Europe at Facebook.

“Working in lockstep with the government and NHS we’ve directed over ten million visits to their websites with the latest accurate information on the virus. We’ve partnered with the NHS on the launch of Facebook vaccine profile frames to allow people to show their support and enthusiasm for getting vaccinated. And we’ve removed over twelve million pieces of misinformation with false and harmful claims about the virus and the approved vaccines on our platforms. This isn’t our first move in the fight against misinformation and it certainly won’t be our last, but we are committed to playing our part and making sure everyone has access to accurate information.”