Facebook is providing free ads to WHO and tackling “conspiracy theories” about Coronavirus

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO said on Wednesday that the social network is going to provide the World Health Organization free advertisements for its coronavirus response and get rid of false claims and conspiracies about the virus.

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Users who search for coronavirus on Facebook, are going to see a pop-up that takes them to the WHO or local health authority for the latest information regarding the outbreak. Those who are in a country where the WHO has reported person-to-person transmission are going to see that information in their respective News Feed.

In a Facebook post, Zuckerberg said that the WHO is going to get free ads and the social platform will offer “millions more in ad credits” to different organizations too.

The Facebook founder also stated that the company is going to remove “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,” he added.

‘Zucker-Gate’ Team Up!

Facebook has encountered heavy criticism for the transmission of misinformation on its platform, especially during political campaigns. The social network was battered last year after it stated it is not going to fact check or remove content posted by politicians. It seems like this time, the social platform is taking a different route with the coronavirus.

Researchers are utilizing “aggregated and anonymized” data of Facebook, such as population density maps, to get to know the spread of the virus, according to Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg stated that the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a philanthropic organization that was founded by himself along with his wife Priscilla Chan, had allied with the Gates Foundation. Using the partnership, researchers in Cambodia were able to sequence the full genome of the virus “in days,” making it “much easier and faster for them to identify” if people had the latest coronavirus.

Last week, Facebook stated it was planning to cancel its annual F8 developer conference, which was scheduled for May, because of the concerns about the outbreak. The conference was due to happen in San Jose, California. The U.S. has now registered over 100 coronavirus cases, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hello, I’m Anna Yeo. If you like my news coverage, please drop a good word in my inbox. I’m journalist by profession and have been part of many major reporting across the globe. I like to write crisp and factual news. I have completed my masters degree in journalism. Feel free to contact me at [email protected]

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