As information on COVID-19 continues to saturate the social media channels we rely on for news around the current crisis, a secondary danger of misinformation and fake news are fueling an infodemic that could potentially be as damaging as COVID-19 itself.
In response, Facebook, the company managing many of these platforms, has compiled a list of tools to ensure the news and knowledge we share are reliable.
Below are several ways to quickly access accurate and timely updates on the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines and globally across Facebook’s family of apps.
On the Facebook app, you can find the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Center featured at the top of your News Feed. It leads to the latest statistics and updates from the Department of Health (DOH), World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), with links to their verified Facebook pages.
The COVID-19 Information Center on Facebook also shares tips to handle staying at home, social distancing, how you can prevent spreading the virus, and what to do when you’re not feeling well. It even has a Community Help section to make it easier for people to post a request for help or offer help in their area.
People can opt in to follow the information center to get notifications and see real-time updates directly in their News Feed or find it bookmarked on the left side of their feed or when they tap on their mobile app.
In the coming weeks, Facebook will also start showing messages to people who have liked, reacted, or commented on harmful misinformation about COVID-19 that have since been removed from the platform. These messages will connect people to COVID-19 myths debunked by the WHO including those that Facebook removed for leading to imminent physical harm.
On Messenger, you can message KIRA the KontraCOVID Chatbot, brought to you by the Department of Health (DOH). When you chat with KIRA, you can get immediate responses to the most common questions about the virus, information on how to protect yourself and your loved ones against COVID-19, and even do a self-check of your symptoms to gauge your risk for COVID-19. You can search for the Department of Health on the Messenger app or go to the official DOH Page on Facebook and click the Messenger button to get started.
While scrolling through Instagram, you’ll find a notice at the top of your feed that directs you to credible resources from expert health organizations like the WHO and DOH. When searching for information and viewing hashtags related to COVID-19 on Instagram, resources from these health organizations are also put at the top to highlight them, making accurate information more accessible.
If WhatsApp is your messaging app of choice, you can sign up to receive the WHO Health Alerts which provides daily reports, tips on how to prevent the spread of the disease, and answers to COVID-19 FAQs that you can easily share with your friends and family. Just send “Hi” to +41 79 893 18 92 on WhatsApp or follow this link. The same WHO Health Alerts are also available on Messenger.
With COVID-19 information available to you 24/7, it’s important to remember that accurate information can save lives. So it’s crucial for everyone to take that responsibility very seriously and ensure that we only share legit and verified info. Factual sharing is caring.
You can learn more about how Facebook is keeping people safe and informed about Coronavirus here.