Facebook & Instagram placing reminder to wear masks atop feeds

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If you scroll to the top of the your feeds on Facebook and Instagram, you may notice a message telling you about the importance of wearing cloth masks when outside in order to fight the spread of COVID-19.

While it is common sense for most people, it has not sunk in for everyone, which is why Facebook and Instagram will populate the top of its feeds with vetted information related to COVID-19, health tips and a reminder to wear a mask when outside of your home.

It is part of a range of features and small updates that Facebook announced earlier this week detailing how it intends to keep its users well informed, as well as initiatives where money can be raised for those on the frontlines fighting the spread of this pandemic.

“Facebook is supporting the global public health community’s work to keep people safe and informed during the coronavirus public health crisis,” writes Kang-Xing Jin, head of health at the company.

“We’re also working to address the long-term impacts by supporting industries in need and making it easier for people to find and offer help in their communities,” he adds.

The head of health also detailed some of the other elements that Facebook is working on during the COVID-19 era, some of which we’ve already seen in action. These include:

  • “Connecting people to credible information on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp
  • Combating COVID-19 misinformation across our apps
  • Investing $100 million in the news industry and supporting fact-checkers
  • Prohibiting exploitative tactics in ads and banning ads for medical face masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and COVID-19 test kits.”

The final point is of particular interest, especially price gouging for face masks was something we saw quite a lot of in the earlier days of the pandemic.

It remains to be seen how effective making this kind of information will be in future, but seeing the amount of viral videos of people blatantly ignoring regulations to wear masks, chances are looking slim right now.

Either way, at least Facebook and Instagram are doing its part in this regard.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Editor of Hypertext. Covers smartphones, IoT, 5G, cloud computing and a few things in between. Also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games when not taking the hatchet to stories.


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