Newsdeck

Newsdeck

Facebook gives WHO free ads in battle with coronavirus misinformation

The Facebook Inc. application is displayed. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

March 4 (Reuters) - Facebook Inc will provide free advertisements to the World Health Organization (WHO) as it seeks to ensure users are not misinformed about the virus, its risks and how to react to it, Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said on Tuesday.

“We’re giving the WHO as many free ads as they need for their coronavirus response along with other in-kind support,” Zuckerberg said http://bit.ly/3aqdihN in the Facebook post.

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 organizations 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 organizations.

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.

(Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)

Gallery

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.