Facebook has today launched a public education campaign to help people in five Pacific Island countries and territories learn how to identify and combat health-related misinformation.

The locations and languages are Wallis & Futuna (French), New Caledonia (French), Tonga (English and Tongan), Solomon Islands (English and Solomon Islands Pijin), and Cook Islands (English).

The campaign, which follows an earlier launch in Samoa, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, will run for five weeks and includes graphics and videos. The content is designed to encourage three key behaviours by Facebook users:

• Awareness - Be informed that misinformation exists
• Investigation - Find out more to confirm if the information is indeed false
• Action - Visit the local health authority to get accurate information

Mia Garlick, Director of Public Policy for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands says, “One of our commitments is to connect people to reliable information, and give people the tools to make informed decisions about the information they see on Facebook. We are extending our efforts to reach more people across the Pacific, ensuring they can easily compare what they see with official public health resources.

“We will continue to work with health experts including the World Health Organization, and local partners, to make sure that we have the right policies in place to reduce the spread of harmful COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccine misinformation on our platform.”

Throughout the pandemic, Facebook has worked closely with the World Health Organization to direct people to authoritative COVID-19 information, and to do more to identify and take action to remove incorrect claims about the virus.

The campaigns can be found at:

• Wallis & Futuna (French): https://fightcovidmisinfo.com/wallis-futuna/

• New Caledonia (French): https://fightcovidmisinfo.com/new-caledonia/

• Tonga (English): https://fightcovidmisinfo.com/en_tonga/

• Tonga (Tongan): https://fightcovidmisinfo.com/tongan/

• Solomon Islands (English): https://fightcovidmisinfo.com/solomon-islands/

• Solomon Islands (Solomon Islands Pijin): https://fightcovidmisinfo.com/solomon-islands-pijin/

• Cook Islands (English): https://fightcovidmisinfo.com/cook-islands/

Globally, Facebook has connected over 2 billion people to resources from health authorities through the COVID-19 Information Centre and removed more than 18 million pieces of harmful misinformation about COVID-19 and approved vaccines from its platforms.

They have also put warning labels over 167 million posts marked as false by third party fact checkers. When people see warning labels, about 95% of the time they do not go on to view the original content.

Source: Press Release