Facebook and Instagram are going to start reminding everyone to wear face masks or coverings. By adding a reminder at the top of the news feeds in both apps.
There's going to be a big card right at the top of the news feed telling everyone to wear a cloth face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. And it will have a link to the info center as well as the CDC's website. So that users can get the latest information right from the source that should be the most trusted.
Why is Facebook and Instagram doing this now?
Facebook says that it is making this change to its app and Instagram due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the US. Yesterday alone, the US saw 50,000 new cases of the disease. More than the US has ever seen in a single day. As of Thursday, the US has over 2.7 million cases of the virus, and over 128,000 people have died.
So Facebook and Instagram are looking to do their part and encouraging everyone to wear face masks when they are out in public. This way the government isn't forced to put everyone into lockdown once again. Which is already starting to happen in some states.
The CDC recommends that everyone wear masks in public not to prevent yourself from getting the virus, but to prevent you spreading the virus. You see, with COVID-19, the big issue is that many are asymptomatic. Which means that they can be spreading the virus without even knowing that they have the virus. Wearing a face mask will help prevent that from happening and flatten the curve.
The prompts to wear face masks will start appearing in the Facebook and Instagram apps later today, according to the company.
Facebook has struggled with Coronavirus misinformation
To no one's surprise, Facebook has struggled to contain misinformation about the virus. This isn't just about the virus either, Facebook has had a misinformation, or fake news problem for a few years now, and it's only getting worse, it seems.
Recently, Facebook has added some new features to help combat the flood of misinformation being spread around on Facebook. This includes a way to inform people that they may have engaged with a post that included false information. Almost like a real-time Snopes alert for anything that you've read on Facebook. It's rather impressive, when it actually works.