How to find legit COVID-19 info on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp
MANILA, Philippines—Even as the world struggles to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, misinformation and fake news remain rampant. To ensure that people are getting correct information, Facebook’s family of apps is offering convenient ways to access legitimate resources amid the global health crisis.
Below are several ways to quickly access accurate, reliable, and timely updates on the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines and globally across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
On the Facebook app, you can find the COVID-19 Information Center featured at the top of your News Feed. It leads to the latest statistics and updates from the Department of Health (DOH), World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), with links to their verified Facebook pages.
Through Facebook’s COVID-19 Information Center, people can get tips on how to handle staying at home, social distancing, how to prevent spreading the novel coronavirus, and what to do when they are not feeling well. It also features a Community Help section to make it easier for people to post a request for help or offer help in their area.
Users can also follow the information center to get notifications and see real-time updates directly in their News Feed or find it bookmarked on the left side of their feed or when they tap on their mobile app.
In the coming weeks, Facebook will also start showing messages to people who have liked, reacted, or commented on harmful misinformation about COVID-19 that have since been removed from the platform. These messages will connect people to COVID-19 myths debunked by the WHO including those that Facebook have removed for leading to imminent physical harm.
On Messenger, people can meanwhile access DOH’s KIRA the KontraCOVID Chatbot, a chatbot that immediately responds to the most common questions about the virus provides information on how to protect people from COVID-19, and even do a self-check of their symptoms to gauge the risk for COVID-19.
Users can also search for the DOH on Messenger or go to the official DOH Facebook page and click the Messenger button to get started.
Similar to Facebook, users can find on top of their Instagram feed a notice that directs people to credible resources from expert health organizations like the DOH and the WHO.
When searching for information and viewing hashtags related to COVID-19 on Instagram, resources from these health organizations are also put at the top to highlight them, making accurate information more accessible.
WhatsApp users may meanwhile sign up to receive the WHO Health Alerts, which provides daily reports, tips on how to prevent the spread of the disease, and answers to COVID-19 commonly asked questions that users can easily share with friends and family.
To access this, users should send “Hi” to +41 79 893 18 92 on WhatsApp or follow this link: https://bit.ly/who-covid-19-whatsapp. WHO Health Alerts is also available on Messenger.
“With COVID-19 information available to you 24/7, it’s important to remember that accurate information can save lives. So it’s crucial for everyone to take that responsibility very seriously and ensure that we only share legit and verified info. Because factual sharing is caring,” Facebook Philippines said.
In the country, there are 7,192 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 762 recoveries and 477 deaths, as of writing. Globally, the virus has infected at least 2,544,792 people.
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