Tech

Facebook and Instagram will alert users to wear masks as coronavirus cases surge

Amid criticism it is not doing enough to help combat the coronavirus pandemic, Facebook said it would start showing alerts to users of their main app as well as Instagram to wear face coverings.

“With the rise in COVID-19 cases in the US, we’re putting an alert at the top of Facebook and Instagram to remind everyone to wear face coverings and find more prevention tips from the CDC in our COVID-19 Information Center,” Facebook wrote in a blog post.

The announcement comes shortly after billionaire Bill Gates partly laid the blame on social media companies, saying they can do better to curb the spread of misinformation about the virus.

BILL GATES PARTLY BLAMES FACEBOOK, TWITTER, FOR CORONAVIRUS SPREAD

“Can the social media companies be more helpful on these issues?” Gates said during an interview with Fast Company. “What creativity do we have? Sadly, the digital tools probably have been a net contributor to spreading what I consider crazy ideas.”

In response, a Facebook spokesperson highlighted several initiatives the Mark Zuckerberg-led company has taken since the start of the pandemic.

“Since January, we’ve worked closely with health organizations, like the CDC, to connect people to accurate information about COVID-19 and we will continue to do more,” the spokesperson said in an email to Fox News.

“We’ve directed over 2 billion people to resources from health authorities and just today launched an alert at the top of Facebook and Instagram reminding everyone to wear face coverings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We’re also aggressively going after misinformation and have applied warning labels to millions of pieces of misinformation and have removed content that could lead to imminent harm.”

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE  CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE 

As of Thursday afternoon, more than 10.7 million coronavirus cases have been diagnosed worldwide, more than 2.68 million of which are in the U.S.

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