Misinformation is a huge challenge at a time the world is battling Covid-19, and countries scaling up on vaccinating their populations to keep them safe.
Social media has been the preferred choice used by those peddling misinformation on Covid-19 vaccines as anyone can post unverified claims.
Today, across a number of African countries, Facebook is launching a new campaign in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO) called ‘Together Against Covid-19 Misinformation’.
The campaign will roll out to people in English and French across Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and DRC, and will show up on Facebook through a series of graphics with tips on how to spot false news:
• Check The Source: Scrutinise content, even if it appears science based
• Check How It Makes You Feel: False news can manipulate feelings for clicks
• Check The Context: Look to public health authorities to confirm content Facebook Public Policy Manager, Aïda Ndiaye, said: “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 scrutinize content they see online, helping them decide what to read, trust and share.”
As part of the campaign, Facebook will also be launching a dedicated website in English and French, which will include information on how they are tackling misinformation on their platforms.
It will give people more transparency around Facebook’s Remove, Reduce and Inform strategy, outline community standards, and share the steps they are taking to combat false news around global events such as Covid-19, elections and climate change.