Social media giant, Facebook is expanding its Coronavirus Information Centre to 17 more countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria.
The Information Centres form part of Facebook’s effort to help the global fight against COVID-19 by providing people with the latest news and information from trusted health authorities as well as resources and tips to stay healthy and support their family and community.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Centre is featured at the top of News Feed, that provides a central place for people to keep informed about the Coronavirus. It includes real-time updates from national health authorities and global organisations such as the World Health Organization, as well as helpful articles, videos and posts about social distancing and preventing the spread of COVID-19.
According to the statement, users of Facebook will get real-time updates from national health authorities and global organisations such as the World Health Organization. Facebook will also provide helpful articles, videos, and posts about social distancing and preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Facebook users can opt in to follow the centre to get notifications and see updates in their News Feed from official government health authorities.
This is one of the approaches used by Facebook to prevent fake information about COVID-19. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp have become sources of information for individuals around the world.
The centre has already launched in South Africa, and will now be expanded to the following new sub – Saharan African markets:
They include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles, The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Togo
Facebook’s Head of Public Policy, Africa, Kojo Boakye comments about the expansion; “We’ve built the information centres, in collaboration with national health partners, to ensure that people can get access to information from trusted health sources. The launch of the COVID-19 Information Centre on Facebook in more than 17 countries across sub-Saharan Africa aligns with our commitment to making accurate, timely information about the pandemic accessible to all communities.”
Recall, Facebook earlier unveiled Coronavirus Community Hub on Messenger that offers tips, authoritative information and other resources to help people stay connected and informed about the coronavirus outbreak, weeks after launching a similar information hub on WhatsApp, its other messaging service.
The community hub for Messenger users is the latest effort from the social conglomerate, used by more than 2.7 billion users, to help fight the global pandemic.
In recent weeks, Facebook has stepped up to help governments and agencies with free developer tools for Messenger to combat COVID-19, and introduced an info centre atop of the news feed to prominently showcase reliable information.