As the coronavirus epidemic continues to grow, infecting more and more people and causing thousands of deaths, it is, unfortunately, no surprise that Facebook is also affected by this health tragedy. Although Facebook is not available in China, the panic is increasingly spreading on the social network.
In Europe, our Italian neighbors, as we learned recently, already have hundreds of people infected with the virus and several deaths. The authorities have placed several towns in the north of the country under quarantine. This news is indeed frightening, and it is precisely in this niche that ill-intentioned salesmen have set up shop.
Facebook and its advertising activity
One of Facebook's biggest earners is of course its advertising business. If you have a Facebook account, every day you see ads on your News Feed, and more specifically ads tailored to your tastes. Among these ads that arrive on the social network on a daily basis, Facebook has seen the arrival of misleading ads referring to the coronavirus. And this is why the American giant has decided to tighten its rules in terms of advertising in order to stop the misinformation and advertising campaigns that play on our fears about the coronavirus epidemic.
It's reassuring to know that Facebook is keeping a close eye on things, especially during this period of psychosis, but will it really be able to control all the ads posted related to the coronavirus? This seems hard to believe because the social network is based on keywords, and unscrupulous sellers might think about how to get around Facebook's algorithm.
Meanwhile, the group led by Mark Zuckerberg has said it will now ban advertisements mentioning the coronavirus and offering so-called solutions to cure or prevent the virus. It is a matter of curbing those who surf on the sense of urgency so that the consumer feels rushed to buy different products. So let's follow with attention the ads that are currently slipping on our Facebook page!
Just like other platforms, Facebook is seeing countless written and video contents about the coronavirus (also called COVID-19) with real information, but also a lot of false information. So let's be wary. To date, more than 80,000 people worldwide have been contaminated and more than 2,600 people have died in recent months.
While Facebook is using tools to check suspicious messages before deleting them from its news feed, it had already announced in January that it would be removing them from its news feed. It took an additional step by removing false information about the epidemic reported by major world health organizations and local health authorities.
Paradoxically, users of the world-famous social network are turning to Facebook groups to buy and sell medical masks en masse, which may prevent health professionals from effectively combating the epidemic.
Amazon is also affected
On the business side, Facebook isn't the only tech company that is plagued by undesirable activities related to this terrible epidemic. As reported by Wired, a few days ago some sellers on Amazon tried to raise the prices of the masks several times with full knowledge of the facts.
Indeed, many pharmacies quickly found themselves out of stock, particularly in northern Italy and, unsurprisingly, in the PACA region, near the French-Italian border. The madness of capitalism even continues, and I would even say is growing in a difficult and worrying health period. There are always ill-intentioned businessmen ready to come and get their piece of the pie.