Facebook has plans to crack down on advertising that promises to “cure” coronavirus or peddle lies about the outbreak, Business Insider reports. The social media platform states that this is an attempt to curtail the spread of misinformation and fearmongering.
In a statement released to BI, a Facebook spokesperson said that it is implementing policies that will “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 behavior.”
Like numerous other tech companies, Facebook is attempting to handle the surge of panicked conversations surrounding the virus, which has (at the time of writing) infected over 80,000 people worldwide.
It’s interesting to consider this swift action, however, in relation to the attitude Mark Zuckerberg’s company holds when it comes to eliminating false political advertising.
In January this year, Facebook announced that it will not place any restrictions on how political ads target specific people, nor will it make any attempt to fact-check them, which essentially gives politicians license to lie in their adverts.
Instead Facebook stated it will implement “transparency features” that aims to give users a little control over how many ads they see, but does nothing in the way of checking the ad’s actual content. The (ironically misleadingly titled-) “transparency features” will be rolled out across the US this summer.