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Facebook Cracks Down on False Coronavirus ‘Cure’ Ads

Dominique Adams

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Facebook

Facebook has banned adverts purporting to offer a cure or vaccine to the coronavirus.

In an effort to curb the spread of misinformation related to the deadly coronavirus Covid-19, Facebook has implemented a new policy that will see advertising related to the outbreak more tightly regulated.

Any adverts that promise a cure or vaccine for the virus, or promote fear-mongering, will be banned from the social media giant’s platform.

The virus currently shows no sign of abating, with 80,000 coronavirus cases being reported globally and the death-toll sitting at approximately 2,800. Like other tech platforms, Facebook has been flooded with posts about the virus since it was first reported, and has been swamped with false information about the outbreak.

“We recently implemented a policy to prohibit ads that refer to the coronavirus and create a sense of urgency, like implying a limited supply, or guaranteeing a cure or prevention.

“We also have policies for surfaces like Marketplace that prohibit similar behaviour,” a Facebook spokesperson told Business Insider, which first reported the ban.

The ban follows a warning from the World Health Organisation (WHO) of a coronavirus “infodemic”, which is fuelling conspiracy theories across social media. Recently, acting US Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf claimed that a vaccine is nearly ready.

Wolf told a Senate hearing that a vaccine would be available “within a few months”, however the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said it is more likely to be a year before one is approved.

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More than 80 clinical trials are underway in China, which is the epicentre of the outbreak.

Last month, when Facebook first posted about its response to coronavirus, it said its “global network of third-party fact-checkers” would review any content relating to the outbreak.

“When they rate information as false, we limit its spread on Facebook and Instagram and show people accurate information from these partners,” the post stated.

“We also send notifications to people who already shared or are trying to share this content to alert them that it’s been fact-checked.”

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Dominique Adams

Marketing Content Manager, Trickle

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