Facebook to expand Coronavirus Information Centre to Nigeria, 16 other African countries

Nigeria and 16 other African countries will now have Facebook’s Coronavirus Information Centres, as the tech giant further expands its media tentacles into Sub-Saharan Africa. The centre is part of Facebook’s contributions to the ongoing efforts against Coronavirus.

The Coronavirus Information Centre, in collaboration with trusted health authorities, provides news, critical information and resources, as well as tips for staying healthy and supporting families and communities amidst the pandemic.

This is one of the approaches used by Facebook to prevent fake information about COVID-19. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp have become sources of information for individuals around the world.

In an earlier report by Nairametrics, WhatsApp, another social media platform owned by Facebook, reduced the number of contacts that could receive forwarded messages simultaneously. This was intended to help users differentiate fake news from real information.

According to a statement received by Nairametrics, users of Facebook will get real-time updates from national health authorities and global organisations such as the World Health Organization. Facebook will also provide helpful articles, videos, and posts about social distancing and preventing the spread of COVID-19.

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The COVID-19 Information Centre will feature at the top of Facebook’s News Feed. Users across 17 African countries will choose to get notifications for updates from official government health authorities.

Speaking on the expansion of the centre to Nigeria and other countries, Facebook’s Head of Public Policy, Africa, Kojo Boakye, stated:

“We’ve built the information centres, in collaboration with national health partners, to ensure that people can get access to information from trusted health sources.

“The launch of the COVID-19 Information Centre on Facebook in more than 17 countries across sub-Saharan Africa aligns with our commitment to making accurate, timely information about the pandemic accessible to all communities.”

The African countries selected to have the COVID-19 Information Centres are as follows; Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles, The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Togo.

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