As the COVID-19 coronavirus continues its spread around the globe, Facebook has announced that is it banning ads on its platform that make claims promising to prevent or cure the disease, reports Business Insider. In a statement to the publication, 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’s move to outright ban ads that promise to prevent or cure the coronavirus comes almost four weeks after the company said it would start to remove content with conspiracy theories or false claims about the virus. Today’s move takes that effort a step further by attempting to stop advertisers hoping to profit from false cure claims about the disease.
As of February 23, there were 76,936 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in mainland China alone, with new outbreaks in Spain, Austria, Italy, Iran, Switzerland, and Croatia. To put that number in perspective, when Facebook originally announced it would take down posts containing conspiracy theories about the coronavirus on January 31, there were only 10,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in mainland China. That’s over a seven-fold increase in less than a month.