As medical experts debate the potential cost of the coronavirus outbreak on the world’s health, business experts are weighing up the potential economic costs. Social media has become an important tool in the reporting of coronavirus but as usual, there is also plenty of misinformation being spread on Facebook.

Like we have often seen on Facebook, the news agenda is being skewed with bad information, whether purposefully or on accident. For example, some reports suggest there is a cure for the virus, while others are presenting bad data about death tolls and spread.

In response, Facebook says it will make a more asserted effort to ensure fake news is removed from the site. Speaking to Business Insider, the company said the following:


“We recently implemented a policy to prohibit ads that refer to the coronavirus and create a sense of urgency, like implying a limited supply, or guaranteeing a cure or prevention. We also have policies for surfaces like Marketplace that prohibit similar behaviour.”

In another statement given to Gizmodo, the social media giant offered an example of the content it is clamping down on. Facebook points to an ad that promotes masks that are 100% guaranteed to stop coronavirus spreading.

According to the company, the ad is misleading users because the masks are not 100% effective. Facebook says it will “block or restrict hashtags used to spread misinformation on Instagram and are conducting proactive sweeps to find and remove as much of this content as we can.”

Microsoft Affected by Coronavirus

As we have reported over the last week, Microsoft has been impacted by the spread of the virus. Yesterday, the company cancelled an upcoming Ignite The Tour event in Hong Kong.

Mobile World Congress 2020 was also cancelled due to health concerns surrounding coronavirus. That cancellation also impacted Microsoft has the company had planned mixed reality sessions at the conference.

Last week, Microsoft announced a Mixed Reality Dev Days to replace MWC. The event will be held before Build 2020 in May.