Facebook comes forward to fight coronavirus; to allow free ads to WHO

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that it will block all users trying to run false ads and spread misinformation on coronavirus

Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday said that the social networking site will provide free advertisement to World Health Organisation in a bid to fight the deadly coronavirus. The company said that it will help users know more about the virus, the risks involved with it, how to take preventive measures and at the same time take down false claims on coronavirus.

This definitely is a great move by Facebook, which has millions of users across the world. Facebook had faced heavy criticism last year for misinformation and the way it handled political ads. However, the company now seems to be taking a different stance and is trying to win back the confidence of regulators as well as its users.

Facebook makes a novel move

 Facebook Logo
Facebook Logo. (File Photo: IANS) IANS

Zuckerberg on Wednesday said via a Facebook post that the company will provide free advertisement to the World Health Organisation as it intends create awareness on the virus and spread more information on teh risks involved with the virus and how to combat it. "We're giving the WHO as many free ads as they need for their coronavirus response along with other in-kind support," said Zuckerberg in a Facebook post

The company also said that there will be no limitations on the number of ads and it will try its best to help the world health body fight the deadly virus. Moreover, Zuckerberg also pledged that the social networking site will take down false claims on coronavirus and help in combating misinformation being spread about the virus.

How will the users be benefitted?

Users who make random searches for coronavirus on Facebook will be able to see a pop-up that will direct them to either the World Health Organisation or the local authority for all the information a user seeks to know. At the same time it will also block all users trying to run false ads and spread misinformation.

"We're also blocking people from running ads that try to exploit the situation — for example, claiming that their product can cure the disease," Zuckerberg added. He also said that besides giving free ads to WHO, Facebook will also give "millions more in ad credits" to other organizations.

Facebook joins fight against coronavirus

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks on stage during the annual Facebook F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, US, April 18, 2017 REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Facebook's decision to join hands with WHO and others to help fight the deadly virus definitely is a great move. The social media giant had been slammed lately for spreading misinformation around the 2016 US election and its policy towards handling political ads.

Understandably, Facebook now wants to re-instill faith in both the regulators and users. Earlier last month, the company said that it will ban ads of products that claim to offer cure and prevention around coronavirus. Not only Facebook, other social media platforms too are taking initiative to do their bit to spread correct information about the virus and stop false claims.

Pintrest was one of the first social media platforms to take a step towards it. Users who made random searches for coronavirus on Pinterest are directed to a curated web page. TikTok also has come forward in the cause, with the WHO launching an account on its video app.

Related topics : Facebook Coronavirus Mark zuckerberg