The coronavirus epidemic has already had an effect on the global technology sector, with events like Mobile World Congress being cancelled over fears, as well as manufacturing in China slowing down for some firms.
There are also those looking to capitalise on the lack of information about the epidemic and wanting to spread misinformation on the subject.
It’s something that Facebook is acutely aware of, and the social media platform is taking steps to ban advertising featuring misleading information about the coronavirus.
“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 behavior,” Facebook explained in a statement sent to Business Insider.
Facebook took a similar step less than a month ago when the coronavirus first starting spreading across the globe, removing all misleading information about the disease in a bid to ensure that people got the correct details surrounding the epidemic.
Companies like Google took similar action, partnering with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in order to create alerts and links to vital information for those who searched for “coronavirus” in the Chrome browser.
This is not the first time that Facebook has had to intervene on its own platform with regard to misinformation that was medical in nature, doing so a few months ago for anti-vaccination posts on its site, but still allowing advertising to remain.
While we’re pleased to see Facebook assisting when it comes to the coronavirus, we only wish the platform was more decisive about other controversial elements on its site, such as misleading ads for political campaigns.