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Facebook to Raise $10M Fund to Tackle Misinformation

by Daniel Sabiiti
7:44 pm

As global Coronavirus (COVID-19) numbers continue to rise across the globe, to keep people safe, FaceBook has announced plans to raise funds in support to the United Nations Foundation/ World Health Organization (UNF/WHO) COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

“We are working with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Foundation to launch a Facebook Fundraiser in the coming weeks, that will match up to $10million,” Facebook said in a statement on Monday.

In preventing false and misleading information on covid-19, Facebook said their ongoing work to limit the spread of misinformation and harmful content about the virus also applies to advertising.

The world leading source of information said that they launched a new policy prohibiting ads for products that refer to the coronavirus in ways intended to create a panic or imply that their products guarantee a cure or prevent people from contracting it.

The prohibited content includes claims related to false cures or prevention methods.

“We are also temporarily banning advertisements and commerce listings that sell medical face masks. Our global network of third-party fact-checkers are continuing their work in reviewing content and debunking false claims that are spreading related to the coronavirus,” Facebook said.

The Silicon valley based company also said that it will start to remove content with false claims or conspiracy theories that have been flagged by leading global health organizations and local health authorities that could cause harm to people who believe them.

For businesses affected by Covid-19, Facebook said it is creating a Business Resource Hub to support such businesses being affected directly or indirectly by COVID-19.

The Hub features resources and recommendations to help small businesses stay connected to customers and keep their business on track. It also includes quick and easy access to credible and accurate information about COVID-19 to help small businesses and the communities they serve stay informed.

Facebook’s Head of Public Policy for East and Horn of Africa, Mercy Ndegwa said they are committed to partnering with governments, technology companies, and civil society to respond to the immense challenges presented at this time by countries.

“We will continue to provide support to the relevant bodies locally. We also encourage all users to check the facts via official public health agencies before sharing messages that have been forwarded to them, and to engage directly with trusted and official sources for important information,” Ndegwa said.

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