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Facebook Introduces the Coronavirus Information Center to 'Ensure That Misinformation Doesn’t Spread'

Illustration for article titled Facebook Introduces the Coronavirus Information Center to Ensure That Misinformation Doesn’t Spread
Photo: Dan Kitwood (Getty Images)

While Facebook seems to give less than a shit about the rampant racism crippling its platform, they at least appear to be vigilant in their quest to keep users safe and informed regarding the coronavirus.

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To that end, Facebook has taken a number of steps to ensure that its billions of users aren’t misled by harmful content or misinformation, have access to info that is both accurate and prompt from trusted sources, and that global health experts, local governments, businesses, and communities are supported by its massive platform.

And looking to up the ante, the company announced on Wednesday that we’ll all soon be blessed with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Center, which will appear at the top of our News Feeds. It’ll serve as an information hub for the latest news and information pertaining to the virus, as well as provide invaluable tips, videos, and resources to keep each of our asses healthy and safe.

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“We want to ensure that misinformation doesn’t spread,” Facebook chairman Mark Zuckerberg told The Root during a conference call with select press. “[We’re] trying to encourage more authoritative information [...] in collaboration with a lot of our health partners.”

This feature will roll out within the next 24 hours in the United States, with additional countries to come within the next few days.

In its efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus, Facebook also revealed that it will offer the premium version of its cloud-based software for businesses, Workplace Advanced, to government agencies and emergency personnel free of charge for the next 12 months. Considering the vital role they play in collecting important information and acting as first responders, according to Facebook, using Workplace will allow these entities to “help inform and connect their employees, allowing them to share critical information in real-time and enabling leadership to reach employees via live videos, posts and more.”

All in all, it sounds like Facebook is doing the Lord’s work in trying to curtail the misinformation around this pandemic.

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I just need them to try a little harder to bring the NBA back.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.

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DISCUSSION

It’s too late to stop the spread of COVID-19 misinformation. The spam I get selling masks and quack cures, the memes about eating bats and Big Pharma hoarding “the cure” until they can price it higher, and above all, every fumbling, inarticulate work out of the Bigly One and Faux News - too late. Did you know that the Army Corps of Engineers is secretly digging mass graves in the Nevada Nuclear Test Site? AND building mass detention camps (or they might be refuges available only to Trump voters, so they can emerge at the polls in November, healthy and ready to vote). Also, the Navy’s sending a “crematory ship“ to some unnamed city to hide the number of deaths. Iran is sending infected agents to the US. Seimen’s (German manufacturer) is rushing defective ventilators onto the market to make bank. The Death Panels starting at major teaching hospitals will be all-white; doctors of color who protest this face are being disappeared. Wall Street is being rigged by Russia. A hundred thousand N95 masks were secretly flown out of the US for the Saudi Royal Family. Trump tested positive but won’t admit it. The National Guard is preparing to seize the media. ICE is turning loose infected people so they won’t die in custody. (OK, that one I can believe.) All the major telcos are tracking your movements and if you’re in infection zone, they’ll only tell you if you’re a premium customer. Tom Hanks is actually dead, but the Australian Government is using his stunt double to keep people from knowing. (You can tell by comparing the double’s ears with old Hanks footage.) Last, but not least, Alex Jones’ DUI arrest was so the government can take him into custody and stop him selling the cure. Truth died, unmourned.