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Facebook to Reduce Misleading Health Claims in News Feed

Pages should avoid posts about health that exaggerate or mislead people and posts that try to sell products using health-related claims

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FILE - The Facebook logo is seen on a shop window in Malaga, Spain, June 4, 2018. (VOA)

Facebook has begun addressing sensational and misleading nutrition, health and fitness claims on its platform by lowering them in your News Feed.

The social networking platform said has made two ranking updates to reduce posts with exaggerated or sensational health claims and posts attempting to sell products or services based on health-related claims.

“For the first update, we consider if a post about health exaggerates or misleads — for example, making a sensational claim about a miracle cure,” Facebook said in a blog post late Tuesday.

“For the second update, we consider if a post promotes a product or service based on a health-related claim a” for example, promoting a medication or pill claiming to help you lose weight,” it added.

Facebook is handling such health posts in a similar way it has claimed to previously reduce low-quality content like click-bait.

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FILE – Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

“We identify phrases that were commonly used in these posts to predict which posts might include sensational health claims or promotion of products with health-related claims, and then showing these lower in News Feed,” said the company.

According to Facebook, most Pages won’t see any significant changes to their distribution in News Feed as a result of this update.

“Posts with sensational health claims or solicitation using health-related claims will have reduced distribution,” it added.

Also Read: Tech Giant Apple Reveals Government Requests to Remove ‘Unlawful’ Apps

Pages should avoid posts about health that exaggerate or mislead people and posts that try to sell products using health-related claims.

“If a Page stops posting this content, their posts will no longer be affected by this change,” said Facebook. (IANS)

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US Lawmakers Call Facebook’s Digital Coin Libra as ‘Delusional’

Under Facebook subsidiary Calibra, the social networking giant has planned to introduce a digital wallet for Libra. The wallet will be available on Messenger, WhatsApp and as a standalone app and is expected to be launched in 2020

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Facebook, Libra, Bitcoin
Bitcoin, which has risen in value for eight consecutive days, received a boost after Facebook has said it would offer its own cryptocurrency, the Libra coin by end of June 2020. Pixabay

The US lawmakers attacked Facebook’s upcoming digital cryptocurrency Libra at a Senate hearing here, calling it “delusional” and “dangerous” and directing the social networking giant to clean up its house first before launching a new business model.

David Marcus, Head of Facebook subsidiary Calibra, was grilled at the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, reports Tech Crunch.

Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown who began the hearing blasted Facebook, saying it was “delusional” to think people would trust it with their hard-earned money.

“We’d be crazy to give them a chance to let them experiment with people’s bank accounts,” said Brown, adding that “like a toddler who has gotten his hands on a book of matches, Facebook has burned down the house over and over and called every arson a learning experience.

Republican Senator Martha McSally echoed his views: “Instead of cleaning up your house, you are launching a new business model.”

Marcus said Facebook “will only build its own Calibra cryptocurrency wallet into Messenger and WhatsApp”.

Marcus told lawmakers that Libra – controlled by a non-profit called the Libra Association — will comply with all US regulations and unless all concerns are answered, would not be launched.

Earlier on Monday, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he was “uncomfortable” with Libra. US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has also raised “serious concern” over Libra.

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FILE – Representations of virtual currency are displayed in front of the Libra logo in this illustration picture. VOA

Marcus, in a prepared testimony, said the Libra Association would be regulated by the Swiss government because that’s where it’s headquartered.

“The Libra Association expects that it will be licensed, regulated, and subject to supervisory oversight. Because the Association is headquartered in Geneva, it will be supervised by the Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority (FINMA),” Marcus wrote.

US President Donald Trump last week tweeted that he is not a fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air.

“Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behaviour, including drug trade and other illegal activity,” Trump said.

Also Read: New Twitter Desktop Look Left Users Baffled

“Similarly, Facebook Libra’s avirtual currency’ will have little standing or dependability. If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National and International.

“We have only one real currency in the USA, and it is stronger than evera It is called the United States Dollar!” he further tweeted.

Facebook has said it is not going to launch its digital coin Libra unless regulators are fully satisfied and all necessary approvals are in place.

Under Facebook subsidiary Calibra, the social networking giant has planned to introduce a digital wallet for Libra. The wallet will be available on Messenger, WhatsApp and as a standalone app and is expected to be launched in 2020. (IANS)