2020 has undoubtedly been a tough year for most of the world, mostly because of the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 cases have been reported to spike once more in several regions across the globe. In response to this, Facebook announced the launch of two new initiatives to combat myths about the virus and to increase awareness of what people can do to protect themselves from it.
Firstly, Facebook developed an alert to pop up at the top of users’ feeds. This can also be seen on Instagram. This alert reminds users to wear masks when they are out in public. Facebook had initially only focused on amping up this initiative in the United States, but it saw the need to promote mask use to more regions.
Facebook will also be adding a new section to its COVID-19 Information Center labeled “Facts About COVID-19” which aims to combat misinformation regarding the virus. This includes all the widely popularized myths on how to cure the disease like using the drug hydroxychloroquine, which US President Donald Trump has been saying is a potential cure for COVID-19. This new section hopes to abolish fake news of any kind and make sure that people are properly informed.
People’s downplaying of the virus and their non-compliance to the rules medical authorities have set has led to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases around the globe. Facebook has launched these new initiatives to do damage control and to make people well aware of what’s happening in the world.
Facebook announced that over two billion people have visited its platform to look for more information on the pandemic, which highlights Facebook’s role as an information channel. Mark Zuckerberg was also set for a live-stream interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci to discuss the United States’ response towards the pandemic.
Implications for Marketers:
In times of crisis, it is incredibly important to practice the responsible sharing of information. Brands should do what they can to raise awareness on important global issues for regions and societies to more effectively combat them.