Facebook announced this week that it will promote content from the WHO to users who engage with what the company called “harmful misinformation” about the Chinese virus on the platform. The decision comes in the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s decision to place a hold on funding to the WHO.
According to a report by NBC News, Facebook is adopting a new policy that may significantly limit discourse on the Chinese virus online. The new policy, which was announced on Thursday, will limit the visibility of Chinese virus content that Facebook considers to be misleading or inaccurate.
Facebook claims that they have already used their platform to promote resources from the World Health Organization. According to Facebook, 350 million people have already clicked through to WHO content at the company’s suggestion.
Guy Rosen, Facebook vice president of integrity, announced the decision to promote WHO content in a press release that was published on Thursday. Rosen said that users that encounter “harmful misinformation” will be redirected to a piece of content by the World Health Organization that lists several myths about the Chinese virus.
We’re going to start showing messages in News Feed to people who have liked, reacted or commented on harmful misinformation about COVID-19 that we have since removed. These messages will connect people to COVID-19 myths debunked by the WHO including ones we’ve removed from our platform for leading to imminent physical harm. We want to connect people who may have interacted with harmful misinformation about the virus with the truth from authoritative sources in case they see or hear these claims again off of Facebook. People will start seeing these messages in the coming weeks.
Breitbart News reported this week that Facebook has often failed to correct misinformation about the Chinese virus. For example, Facebook failed to limit visibility on a HuffPo story that claimed that President Trump would profit off of hydroxychloroquine, a drug that has been discussed as a potential treatment for the Chinese virus. Even Snopes, a leftist fact-checking site, rated HuffPo’s claim as “mostly false.”
President Trump announced a hold on funding for the WHO last week. “We want to look into the World Health Organization because they really called it wrong,” Trump said. “They missed the call, they could have called it months earlier, they would have known, they should have known, and they probably did know.”
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