Govt of Pakistan and Facebook partner to fight COVID misinformation

SuchTV  |  Jun 22, 2021

In Pakistan, over 32 million people received authoritative information regarding COVID prevention and vaccination through social media messaging campaigns conducted by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Information’s Digital Media Wing (DMW) in partnership with Facebook.

Facebook provided Marketing Partner Support and Ad Credits for these campaigns and helped the government increase its engagement rates with the public on these posts between March 16 and April 6, 2021.

As part of these campaigns, Facebook and the Ministries focused on creating videos and messages on boosting greater Vaccine Confidence amongst the nation. The messaging campaigns helped the Ministry of Health increase its total number of page likes to 470,000 – increasing the government’s ability to connect with and provide information to its stakeholders.

As COVID-19 vaccines are becoming more readily available to larger groups, Facebook launched new Facebook profile frames in partnership with the Ministry of Health that allow users to share their support for getting vaccinated with their family and friends. Research shows, when people see others who they know and trust getting the vaccine, they will be encouraged to do the same. This can be particularly effective when it comes to encouraging those who were otherwise unsure about getting themselves vaccinated.

Speaking in regard to the support extended by Facebook Dr. Faisal Sultan—Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health said, “We are appreciative of the support extended by Facebook in our fight against COVID-19. We reached 76% of our target population through our social media messaging campaigns. The pandemic has brought to the forefront the importance of using digital tools for transmitting critical health information to citizens and keeping them safe and healthy.”

Throughout the pandemic, Facebook has worked closely with the two ministries to direct people to authoritative COVID-19 information. A campaign to create awareness about spotting COVID related misinformation on social media was also launched in Urdu for the Facebook community in Pakistan in partnership with the Ministry of Information’s Digital Media Wing.

Fawad Chaudhry, Minister for Information & Broadcasting stated, “We appreciate the hard work put in by the Ministry of Health and the Digital Media Wing of Government of Pakistan in bringing together an engaging campaign in partnership with Facebook. It is crucial to differentiate between information and misinformation in the age of digital communication. Facebook has supported the spread of accurate information through their drive of removing misinformation and fact checking of news. We hope to partner with Facebook in the future to ensure that the people of our nation are provided with accurate information.”

Facebook has worked to take aggressive steps to remove harmful misinformation and connect people to resources from health authorities. Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Facebook removed more than 16 million pieces of content from Facebook and Instagram globally for violations against our policies on COVID-19-related misinformation and harm. Between March and October of 2020, Facebook displayed warnings on about 167 million pieces of content on Facebook worldwide based on COVID-19 related debunking articles written by our fact checking partners.

Globally, Facebook has connected over 2 billion people to resources from health authorities through the COVID-19 Information Center and pop-ups on Facebook and Instagram with over 600 million people clicking through to learn more.

On WhatsApp, over 3 billion messages have been sent by governments, nonprofits, and international organizations to citizens through the WhatsApp government chatbots on COVID 19.

 

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