While the actions of Facebook in recent years has proved divisive to say the least, the steps that the social media platform during the COVID-19 pandemic have been commendable, especially when it comes to fighting misinformation.
The latest step that facebook is taking involves placing vetted COVID-19 information at the top of user’s News Feeds. Speaking to reporters Stateside earlier this week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg, noted that the information would be verified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Centre for Disease Control (CDC).
This new “information centre” as it is being called, follows in line with what Facebook has been doing on both its platform and Instagram, which includes promoting ads from both the WHO and CDC, along with linking to their organisations whenever someone searches for the coronavirus on the platform.
Whether this initiative helps Facebook with its goal of fighting COVID-19 misinformation remains to be seen, but the need certainly exists, given how much misleading content spreads online.
Along with the introduction of the information centre, Facebook has also made an announcement regarding its Workplace platform. To that end it is making the advanced tier of the offering freely available to governments and emergency services for a year.
“For these organizations, which are on the frontline of combating COVID-19, this will help inform, connect and safeguard their employees, allowing them to share critical information in real-time, provide updates on the health and welfare of their employees, and enable leadership to reach employees via live videos, posts, and more,” the firm noted in a statement.
“Workplace helps connect everyone in an organization, including frontline or deskless workers, and is deeply committed to supporting everyone within these organizations during this crisis,” Facebook adds.
One organisation making use of it is the WHO, with Carey Kyer, internal communications head saying, “Workplace ‘ticks the box’ on our need to communicate, engage and connect real-time with our colleagues around the world, especially during this public health emergency of international concern.”