Facebook has been actively trying to curb the spread of misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic that the world is currently engulfed in. Users have noticed a new pop-up notification that appears on the app directing them to additional COVID-19 information. But why are you seeing this pop-up and can you disable it? Here is everything you need to know.
How is Facebook helping combat the spread of misinformation
There is no getting around the fact that no matter where you look, you see people talking about the pandemic. Social media apps have taken it upon themselves to keep users informed of developments, by creating a platform to spread information. However, this comes at the cost of misinformation.
The old saying stands true, ‘Do not believe everything you read on the internet’. But how do you know what is true and what is false? Earlier this year, Facebook announced that it would be introducing a ‘Fact-checking‘ function, that would help notify users whether the information they are sharing has been verified or not.
Related: How to Report a Facebook Page
What is the COVID-19 pop-up on Facebook?
Building on the premise to curb the spread of misinformation, Facebook has introduced a new way to direct users to verified information about the pandemic. Previously, Facebook had introduced a banner at the top of the Facebook app directing its users to verified pages like WHO, and local health agencies.
Facebook has now introduced a new pop up notification that notifies you when the post you are sharing contains content related to the COVID-19. The pop up provides a link to the newly launched ‘Coronavirus Information Center’ on Facebook, which has the latest stats and information from around the world. The Information Center also provides local news and stats depending on where you are accessing the app from.
Why are you seeing COVID-19 pop-up notification on Facebook
The new pop-up notification is auto-enabled on all Facebook accounts and works to inform users about the content they are sharing. Currently, the pop-up only appears when you try to share a post that contains information about the coronavirus. Facebook has not disclosed how it is identifying content, but it seems to be quite accurate.
When you try to share a post that contains information about COVID-19, you will receive a pop-up informing you about the same. The idea is to let users know what they are sharing, even if it is not stated outright in the title. You can then simply tap ‘Continue’ and go ahead and post the article.
The pop-up also lets you know the origin of the article as well as when it was first published. This helps users stay informed about how old the information they are sharing is.
Can you disable the COVID-19 pop-up notification on Facebook?
Unfortunately, there is no way to stop COVID-19 notifications from popping up each time you share a post about COVID-19 (as of August 14, 2020).
Facebook has not made this an opt-in feature. On the bright side though, the new pop-up notification in no way prevents the users from sharing posts. All it does is add one extra step (where you must tap ‘Continue’) while sharing a post. And it’s probably worth it, no?
There is no indication as to how long the pop-up notification will remain on Facebook. What do you think of the new notification pop-up on Facebook? Let us know in the comments below.