Facebook recently announced that it will provide free ads to the World Health Organization (WHO) in an attempt to fight “misinformation” surrounding the coronavirus.
Reuters reports that social media giant Facebook has announced that it will provide free advertisements to the WHO as the group attempts to fight misinformation about the coronavirus online. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated in a Facebook post: “We’re giving the WHO as many free ads as they need for their coronavirus response along with other in-kind support.”
The post further states:
We’re also focused on stopping hoaxes and harmful misinformation. It’s important that everyone has a place to share their experiences and talk about the outbreak, but as our community standards make clear, it’s not okay to share something that puts people in danger. So we’re removing false claims and conspiracy theories that have been flagged by leading global health organizations. We’re also blocking people from running ads that try to exploit the situation — for example, claiming that their product can cure the disease.
As well as accessing information, we’re also looking at how people can use our services to help contribute to the broader efforts to contain the outbreak. Researchers are already using aggregated and anonymized Facebook data — including mobility data and population density maps — to better understand how the virus is spreading.
Facebook users that search for posts on coronavirus will now see pop-ups that direct them to the WHO or local health authority for the latest information. Zuckerberg further promised that Facebook would remove false claims and conspiracy theories flagged by leading Global health organization to help combat misinformation about the virus. Zuckerberg stated that Facebook would be working with global health experts and give “millions more in ad credits” to other health organizations.
Tech firms such as Google, Facebook, and Apple have stated that they are restricting travel to and from China. Google has also restricted travel to Japan, South Korea, Iran, and Italy while Amazon and Salesforce have both frozen all nonessential business travel indefinitely.
Google also confirmed reports on Monday that it had asked 8,000 of its workers at the company’s offices in Dublin, Ireland, to work from home following reports of a possible coronavirus infection at the offices. A Google spokesperson wrote in an email: “We continue to take precautionary measures to protect the health and safety of our workforce. In accordance with the advice of medical experts, and as part of that effort we have asked our Dublin teams to work from home tomorrow.”