Facebook’s New India Campaign Will Up The Ante Against COVID-19 Misinformation!

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Facebook wants India to stay away from COVID-19 related misinformation!

On Thursday, the social media behemoth announced that it would roll out a new India-specific campaign in the coming weeks in order to ‘educate and inform people’ about COVID-19 related misinformation and encourage them to consume from authentic sources.

Up till now, Facebook, which has 320 million users in India, has removed close to 12 million harmful content pieces promoting misinformation related to the pandemic on a global scale. It has also put warning labels on close to 167 million posts marked as false by the company’s third-party fact-checkers.

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Facebook, which counts India amid one of its key growth markets, said that it is currently working on connecting its users to accurate sources of information and subsequently tackling COVID-19 misinformation.

The social media giant, in a statement, said that it would be launching a new campaign in India over the next few weeks in an attempt to ensure Indian citizens make more qualified decisions based on authentic information sources such as the MyGov platform.

Facebook has developed six easy tips to fight COVID-19 misinformation. These tips will show up on their platform via a series of creative adverts and link out to a dedicated microsite: www.fightcovidmisinfo.com/india.

Both the campaign and website would be rolled out in English and 9 Indian languages, including Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Oriya, Malayalam, Marathi, Kannada, and Gujarati.

Previously in the last month, Twitter, Facebook and a few other social media platforms removed close to 100 posts and URLs after the Government of India instructed them to take down content spreading fake news surrounding the pandemic.

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On Thursday, in a statement about the same, it said that the platform had made significant investments in removing accounts and content that violate its Community Standards or Ad Policies as part of its global fight against the spread of misinformation.

Furthermore, Facebook also mentioned that 95% of the time, when users see warning labels tagged on a content piece, they choose to view the original source of content instead.

Besides that, the social media behemoth has initiated a campaign in association with the leading doctors in India to provide accurate and reliable information about COVID-19 to Facebook users.

The campaign will include a series of 12 videos wherein doctors will be seen addressing some of the most commonly asked questions about the pandemic. The video series dubbed ‘#DoctorKiSuno’ will be launched on the Facebook India page and cover topics like COVID-19 in children, diabetes, mental health impacts, etc.

Facebook said that it is committed to continuing working with partners and the community to ensure misinformation is being tackled effectively.

Thus, all in all, it is well understood that the social media behemoth is stepping up its ante against fake news. It now remains to be seen to what extent Facebook will be able to impact Indian consumers. We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.

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