Facebook bans ads making false claims about products tied to COVID-19

COVID-19 rumours, hoaxes spread on social media
A B.C. man named Jerry Guo is speaking out after a photo of him went viral, falsely accusing him of spreading COVID-19. As Jeff Semple explains, health officials are working with tech giants to contain the outbreak of misinformation surrounding the novel coronavirus.

Facebook said Wednesday that it is banning ads that make false claims about products tied to the new coronavirus.

The social network said it is removing ads that feature a product and imply a limited supply, seeking create a “sense of urgency” in their mention of coronavirus. Ads that guarantee a cure or prevention are also banned, it said.

READ MORE: Facebook to limit spread of misinformation, false claims on coronavirus

For instance, ads for face masks that claim the products are 100% guaranteed to prevent the spread of the virus are not allowed, the company said.

The ban went into effect this week. Facebook had previously banned ads, along with regular unpaid posts, that peddle fake cures such as drinking bleach, spread conspiracy theories about the virus, or discourage people from seeking medical treatment.

READ MORE: Mothers brawl in person over Facebook argument about coronavirus

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The ban went into effect as the World Health Organization reported that the number of new cases outside China exceeded the number of new infections inside the country for the first time on Tuesday.

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The COVID-19 virus has now spread to at least 39 countries.

Canada’s preparations for a COVID-19 pandemic
Canada’s preparations for a COVID-19 pandemic