Facebook announced this morning that they are initiating an effort to correct a lot of the misinformation being spread about the COVID-19 coronavirus.
“The move by Facebook is just the most recent step in an aggressive and coordinated response by it and other tech companies to promote facts and guidance from reputable sources,” reports NBC News.
As the virus has spread across the nation, it has infected the conversation on Facebook, and the predictable has happened. People are repeating rumors they’ve heard about the virus, those affected and how to cure it. Much of the information from the timelines has been unsubstantiated.
It is to the point that people are believing that guy’s uncle who knows a person from the neighborhood of the scientist who read about a study done in Sweden in the ’40s that foretold of the pandemic in 2020, and how it was all a multi-decade plan to bring down the only person who can stop the one world order being planned by teenage Nazi survivors.
“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,” wrote Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, on Facebook’s corporate website. “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.”
People share the misinformation for a lot of reasons including the desire to be THE person who told everyone first. As a nation, our ability to tell a fact from a lie is is more challenged than ever. The endless attacks on the media by political leaders of all persuasions has people believing information based on their political party instead of being able to spot a lie when it walks in the door.
The news that Facebook is going to address the misinformation being spread about COVID-19 by sending people to information sources such as the World Health Organization was met with mixed responses.
“WHO are the ones that withheld information about the virus in the first place” responded Daniel McAllister when the story was first put up. He went on to declare “… they [WHO] are the source. They have been consistently publishing contradicting information throughout this whole ordeal. I’ll still reference WHO, but wouldn’t bet my paycheck on the accuracy.”
When challenged to explain why WHO misled the world and if it had a nefarious reason for doing so, McAllister replied, ” I don’t know. I do know they except a lot of money from nations around the world, including the US. Money has tendency to alter one’s opinions. Bottom line is, if they proclaim to have the most prestigious scientists, this wasn’t an ‘Oops’. Or they just need to admit they don’t have a clue.”
“The [WHO] … they have made mistakes mostly because lack of transparency also they actually said it’s up [to] the countries to do what they think is right for their citizens,” wrote Jon Pullen in defense of the WHO and in support of Facebook’s new policy. “The other country’s [sic] were advised same exact way from the world health organization … many have done well.”
Whether Facebook can tamp down the rumor mill about COVID-19 remains to be seen.