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Facebook To Block Ads Promising Cure For Coronavirus

Facebook To Block Ads Promising Cure For Coronavirus

Amazon has also banned products selling so-called cures for the coronavirus disease

WHO hosted a meeting with tech giants at Facebook HQ last week

Twitter, Twitter and YouTube are regulating online content as well

Social media giant Facebook has decided to ban all ads that claim to cure, prevent or create a “sense of urgency” around coronavirus, officially known as Covid-19.

“We [Facebook] recently implemented a policy to prohibit ads that refer to the coronavirus and create a sense of urgency, like implying a limited supply or guaranteeing a cure or prevention. We also have policies for surfaces like Marketplace that prohibit similar behaviour,” a Facebook spokesperson told Business Insider.

Besides Facebook, even ecommerce giant Amazon announced, on February 24, that it will be removing all the listing that claim to prevent or cure coronavirus. The company has also notified third-party sellers listed on the platform.

With the outbreak of coronavirus in China, the misinformation on social media platforms has been on a rise as well. While some suggest a mixture of whiskey and honey, others suggest five cardamoms to cure coronavirus. So far, the virus has affected 80K people all across the globe, killing over 2700.

Tech Giants Join Forces To Take On Coronavirus

As per a CNBC report, the World Health Organisation (WHO) organised a day-long meeting with global tech leaders at the Facebook headquarters in the US last week. The attendees included representatives from Amazon, Google, Twitter, YouTube and others. Apple, Lyft and Uber were invited as well but did not attend.

The discussion revolved around preventing misinformation and fake news regarding coronavirus. Besides that, the tech giants also held discussions on ways to spread accurate information to users.

Earlier, social media companies were said to be working in their own capacity to ensure accurate information for their users. Late January and early February, Facebook and other social media giants — Twitter, Google, TikTok and Youtube —  decided to regulate all content on social media platforms. For this, the companies have turned to third-party fact-checkers to fish out any fake or misinformation related to coronavirus on their platforms.

Facebook, in a blog post published on January 30, said, “Our global network of third-party fact-checkers are continuing their work reviewing content and debunking false claims that are spreading related to the coronavirus.”

“When they rate information as false, we limit its spread on Facebook and Instagram and show people accurate information from these partners. We also send notifications to people who already shared or are trying to share this content to alert them that it’s been fact-checked,” the post added.

Twitter, on the other hand, launched a search prompt for India in partnership with the ministry of health and family welfare and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Under this partnership, Twitter would flash the WHO’s website’s link whenever a user searches for “coronavirus” or any related terms.