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Facebook defends approach to stopping coronavirus disinformation

Facebook says more than one billion people have been directed to official health guidance on coronavirus by features on the social network’s platforms. The company said, in addition, more than 100 million people had then clicked through links to resources from authorities such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) about the spread of Covid-19. The Government has created a specialist unit which is working with social media firms to monitor and block the spread of such content – while services such as Facebook, Google and Twitter are placing official advice at the top of search results linked to the illness. Former deputy prime minister Sir Nick Clegg, now the social network’s head of global affairs and communications, said Facebook has “been working to connect people to accurate information and taking aggressive steps to stop misinformation and harmful content from spreading”. Professor Yvonne Doyle, medical director for Public Health England, said of the new WhatsApp scheme: “This service will help us ensure the public has a trusted source for the right information about coronavirus, updated with the latest public health guidance and providing assurance that they are not misled by any of the false information circulating.”.

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