Facebook is cracking down on rumors about the corona virus and conspiracy theories.
The company says their so-called fact-checkers will invalidate the false claims about the corona virus. Facebook will also delete messages about some conspiracy theories.
“We will start removing content with false claims or conspiracy theories. These messages are flagged by leading global health organizations and local health authorities and can harm people who believe them,” the company wrote in a statement.
“We do this as an extension of our existing policy to remove content that can cause physical damage.”
The company further states “to conduct proactive research to find and remove as much of this content as possible”, and on Instagram it will block hashtags that contain incorrect information. Facebook has not specified exactly how much content they are going to remove but conspiracy theories about the virus are prevalent on social media.
Corona virus bleach
“We focus on claims made to discourage treatment or to take appropriate precautions,” says Facebook. “This includes claims regarding false remedies or – prevention methods – such as bleach cures the corona virus – or claims that cause confusion about available health sources.”
It is an important step for Facebook, which often refuses to remove conspiracy theories, even if they have been invalidated by the company’s fact-checkers.
Facebook’s coronavirus policy seems to be much more aggressive than how it has dealt with conspiracy theories against vaccines that also cause physical injury in the past. The Facebook update comes after Twitter and Google announced that they are taking initiatives against conspiracy theories and incorrect information about the corona virus.