Meta Updates Global Covid-19 Misinformation Policy Amid Easing Restrictions

Meta Updates Global Covid-19 Misinformation Policy Amid Easing Restrictions

Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has announced that its policy to combat the spread of misinformation about Covid-19 on its platforms will no longer be in effect globally. 

Meta Updates Covid-19 Policy

The decision comes as countries worldwide are gradually easing Covid-19 restrictions and returning to a sense of normalcy. In May, we reported that the World Health Organization declared that the virus is no longer a global health emergency.

Meta clarified that the policy would still be enforced in countries where a public health emergency declaration related to Covid-19 is in effect.

NBCNews reports that the move by Meta comes after mounting pressure on social media platforms to take more stringent measures against misinformation, particularly regarding the pandemic and vaccines. 

In an effort to address these concerns, Facebook previously removed 1.3 billion fake accounts between October and December 2021 and eliminated over 12 million pieces of content related to Covid-19 and vaccines that global health experts flagged as misinformation.

Last year, Meta sought the guidance of its independent oversight board on potential changes to its approach, considering the availability of authentic information sources and the increased general awareness about Covid-19. 

The company’s decision to no longer enforce the Covid-19 misinformation policy globally reflects its confidence in improving information accuracy and accessibility.

Read Also: Meta Joins AI Race With New Language Model for Researchers

Meta to Consult With Health Experts

In a recent blog post, Meta stated that it would consult with health experts to identify specific claims and categories of misinformation that could still pose a risk to public health. 

Content violating the company’s coronavirus misinformation policies will continue to be removed in countries with ongoing public health emergencies.

It is worth noting that Twitter had also previously implemented a Covid-19 misinformation policy but rolled it back in November. The social media landscape has faced numerous challenges in combating misinformation during the pandemic. 

The proliferation of false claims about Covid-19, vaccines, and public health measures has raised concerns about the potential harm caused by misleading information.

Addressing Covid-19 Misinformation

While Meta is committed to addressing Covid-19 misinformation, it recognizes the need to reevaluate its measures as the pandemic situation evolves. 

The company’s COVID-19 Information Center, launched during the pandemic, has connected billions of people worldwide with reliable and authoritative information. 

Meta acknowledges that different countries are at various stages in their pandemic response, with some experiencing lower vaccination rates and less developed healthcare systems. 

Therefore, the company aims to adopt an approach considering countries’ diverse circumstances while maintaining a balance between free expression and public safety.

Meta’s decision to seek advice from its independent oversight board regarding the effectiveness of its current measures demonstrates its commitment to addressing misinformation responsibly. 

The Oversight Board, established as a check and balance for Meta, will advise whether the existing policies regarding Covid-19 misinformation are still appropriate or if alternative approaches, such as labeling or demoting content, should be considered.

Stay posted here at Tech Times.

Related Article: Meta’s Oversight Board Report Reveals Progress in Transparency, Calls for Further Improvements


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