Facebook announced Wednesday it would launch a section that will be devoted to debunking common myths about coronavirus, as it aims to combat criticism that its been too lax about misinformation on its platform.
Called “Facts About Covid-19,” the new section will appear under the Covid Information Center part of the site that features local and national updates about the pandemic as well as suggestions of pages to follow for more information.
In an example of what the section will look like that was posted to Twitter on Wednesday, tabs appeared to show information to dispute common myths repeated throughout the pandemic, like how hydroxychloroquine is not generally recommended as a preventative or treatment for the virus, along with consuming bleach or disinfectants.
The aim of the section is “to further limit the spread of misinformation,” the social media giant said in a tweet Wednesday.
The company also announced that both Facebook and Instagram will feature new alerts to remind users to wear face masks.
On Thursday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg will interview Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease official, including about the country’s efforts to slow the pandemic, how close a vaccine could be and what everyday people can do to pitch in—all to be livestreamed on Facebook, of course.
Zuckerberg has invited Facebook users to submit questions they would like to see Fauci answer.
Facebook has recently taken steps to curb misinformation on the platform in a change of course for Zuckerberg, who just months ago criticized Twitter for its decision to fact check President Donald Trump’s tweets. “Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online,” Zuckerberg said to Fox News anchor Dana Perino in a May interview. However, by April, Facebook announced that users who engaged with posts flagged as containing misinformation about coronavirus would get a notification to direct them to the World Health Organization’s information about the virus.
Last month, Zuckerberg finally followed Twitter’s lead to flag political figures’ posts that violate Facebook policies but are considered newsworthy. Last week, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said the firm “has to get better at finding and removing hateful content,” after a campaign called Stop Hate For Profit called on companies to boycott advertising on the site until Facebook addresses the “hate and disinformation being spread” on the platform.