Facebook extends Covid-19 Information Centre to Instagram
By Martyn Landi
Facebook has extended its Covid-19 Information Centre to Instagram in its latest effort to stop the spread of misinformation around the pandemic.
The social network’s information hub includes facts around the virus and vaccine safety and eligibility from official sources, including Public Health England and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Facebook said posts that discuss vaccine safety on either Facebook or Instagram will now also be given new labels which state that vaccines go through safety tests before being approved, a move the company says could reduce any hesitancy about receiving a jab.
The range of new features forms part of the social media giant’s ongoing response to the pandemic – during which Facebook and other online platforms have been criticised for failing to adequately slow the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories about Covid-19.
Facebook’s latest update also included the launch of a tool in the US that will show users when and where they can get a vaccine and a link to make an appointment.
Writing on the social network about the new features, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg said the campaign would “help bring 50 million people a step closer to getting Covid-19 vaccines”.
“The data shows the vaccines are safe and they work. They’re our best hope for getting past this virus and getting back to normal life. I’m looking forward to getting mine, and I hope you are too,” he said.
Facebook confirmed that in some countries it was now using official WhatsApp chatbots to help register people for vaccinations with their local health authorities and government.
According to the social network’s figures, it has so far directed over 10 million people in the UK to NHS and Government websites for new details on Covid-19, as well as taken down over 12 million pieces of misinformation and added warning labels to more than 167 million posts.