Facebook is putting the latest news and informationabout the coronavirus, including real-time updates from national health authorities and global health organizations, at the top of everyone’s news feeds in the U.S. and Europe, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday.
The new feature, which will also offer resources and tips on how to stay healthy and support family and community, will roll out over the next 24 hours, Zuckerberg said during a call with the media.
Articles, videos and posts will focus on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, with an emphasis on social distancing.
The feature was built in collaboration with health organizations, Zuckerberg said.
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The announcement is part of aggressive efforts Facebook and other tech companies are taking to stop the surge of coronavirus misinformation spreading around the globe on social media.
Removing misinformation, such as conspiracy theories, hoaxes and memes, during a pandemic is “one of the most black-and-white situations” Facebook has encountered when moderating content on the platform, Zuckerberg said. He said Facebook is cracking down on any coronavirus posts that pose an “imminent risk” of harm to Facebook users.
The feature will roll out first in the U.S., Italy, France, Germany, Spain and the UK and will extend to more countries in the next few days, Zuckerberg said.
Facebook is consulting with health organizations and governments in each country to determine what information will be featured, he said.
In addition to seeing the Coronavirus Information Center at the top of your news feeds, you can follow the information center to get updates from health authorities directly in your news feed. In the U.S., Facebook users will find features to help them connect with local groups and ask for help from or offer help in their communities.