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Facebook bans coronavirus ads that promote 'cures' and fan hysteria

The social network has confirmed its stance on COVID-19 misinformation.
Rachel England, @rachel_england
February 26, 2020
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Facebook is doubling down on its bid to stop the spread of coronavirus misinformation. Following its announcement of plans to flag and remove false information, the platform will now also ban ads that promise to cure or prevent the virus, as well as those that "create a sense of urgency" about it.

Speaking to Business Insider, a Facebook spokesperson said, "We recently implemented a policy to prohibit ads that refer to the coronavirus and create a sense of urgency, like implying a limited supply, or guaranteeing a cure or prevention. We also have policies for surfaces like Marketplace that prohibit similar behavior."

Facebook has come under fire in the past for its position on false information – most recently for deliberately allowing misleading political ads. Its approach to coronavirus-based content, however, is similar to its stance on anti-vaccination misinformation, which the social network gradually tightened throughout 2019. However, despite restrictions on anti-vax content the platform still appears to be permitting some controversial ads, leading to critics to question whether it will allow the same for those relating to coronavirus.

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