Pakistan partners with Facebook to combat COVID-19 misinformation

Pakistan collaborate with Facebook to encourage vaccination and boost fight against COVID-19 misinformation

Pakistan government has extended collaboration with Facebook to taclkle COVID-19 misinformation and encourage vaccinations.

In Pakistan, over 32 million people received authoritative information regarding COVID prevention and vaccination through social media messaging campaigns conducted by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Information’s Digital Media Wing (DMW) in partnership with Facebook.

Throughout the pandemic, Pakistan’s health and information ministries have worked with Facebook to create videos and messages on boosting greater vaccine confidence amongst the nation. The messaging campaigns helped the Ministry of Health increase its total number of page likes to 470,000 – increasing the government’s ability to connect with and provide information to its stakeholders, according to the official statement.

“We reached 76% of our target population through our social media messaging campaigns. The pandemic has brought to the forefront the importance of using digital tools for transmitting critical health information to citizens and keeping them safe and healthy” said Dr. Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health while appreciating the support extended by the social media platform.

Fawad Chaudhry, Minister for Information & Broadcasting appreciated the hard work put in by the Ministry of Health and the Digital Media Wing of Government of Pakistan in bringing together an engaging campaign in partnership with Facebook.

“It is crucial to differentiate between information and misinformation in the age of digital communication. Facebook has supported the spread of accurate information through their drive of removing misinformation and fact checking of news. We hope to partner with Facebook in the future to ensure that the people of our nation are provided with accurate information” he said.

Imran Ghazali, general manager at DMW, said that “One of the important step to win the battle against COVID-19 is to create awareness among masses with the latest and authentic health information and at the same time fight the disinformation on social media. In this regard, our partnership with Facebook has played a critical role in reaching the masses with information related to vaccine registration, following of SOPs and we will continue to work with Facebook to reach and engage more citizens across Pakistan”. 

Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Facebook removed more than 18 million pieces of content from Facebook and Instagram globally for violations against our policies on COVID-19 related misinformation and harm.

“By working closely with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Information’s  Digital Media Wing in Pakistan we’re doing our part to help the users in Pakistan in getting credible information” said Sehar Tariq, who is leading public policy for Pakistan at Facebook.

“We at Facebook will continuously work towards making the fight against the pandemic easier for the Government and our community in Pakistan and across the globe. We hope to keep extending our support and expertise where possible in the Government of Pakistan’s fight against COVID. It is so important that we come together as a community to protect ourselves and each other through credible health information and support vaccine confidence in our community” she said. 

As COVID-19 vaccines are becoming more readily available to larger groups, Facebook has launched new profile frames in partnership with governments that allow users to share their support for getting vaccinated with their family and friends.

Salma Khan
Salma writes on topics ranging from education to technology to business. She can be reached at Twitter and Facebook.

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