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Facebook, WHO promote authoritative COVID-19 vaccines info

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Social media giant Facebook has partnered with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to curb the spread of misinformation about the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines.

Around the world, misinformation about COVID-19 has risen rapidly. The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has also seen a heightened spread of misinformation about these on social media platforms, including Facebook.

In a statement, Facebook says it is intensifying its efforts to connect people to accurate information and reduce misinformation on its platforms.

As a result, the social network giant and WHO have unveiled a campaign called ‘Together against COVID-19 Misinformation’ that will be rolled out across a number of African nations.

The campaign will target people in English and French across South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

It will show up on Facebook through a series of graphics with tips on how to spot false news, such as scrutinising the content, even if it appears science-based, and looking to public health authorities to confirm content.

According to Facebook, creating the Africa-focused campaign follows the worldwide campaign to promote authoritative information about COVID-19 vaccines, working to remove false vaccine claims, reduce distribution of inaccurate health information, and inform people about effective vaccine delivery.

Facebook public policy manager Aïda Ndiaye comments: “Ensuring users are getting authoritative information about COVID-19 vaccines is just some of the vital work we’re doing here at Facebook.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, we’ll continue working with industry experts and people on our platforms to ensure we’re aggressively tackling misinformation, and giving people additional resources to scrutinise content they see online, helping them decide what to read, trust and share.”

In addition, Facebook announced the launch of a dedicated Web site in English and French, which will include information on how it’s tackling misinformation on its platforms.

“It will give people more transparency around our remove, reduce and inform strategy, outline our community standards, and share the steps we’re taking to combat false news around global events such as COVID-19, elections and climate change.”

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