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Pakistan Joins Hands With Facebook To Fight Covid Misinformation

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The government of Pakistan has joined hands with Facebook to combat misinformation related to Covid-19.

Speaking about the support extended by Facebook, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan said, “We are appreciative of the support extended by Facebook in our fight against Covid-19. 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.”

Fawad Chaudhry, Minister for Information & Broadcasting stated, “We appreciate 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.”

Sehar Tariq, leading Public Policy for Pakistan at Facebook, said: “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. We would like to express our gratitude to Fawad Chaudhry, Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Dr. Faisal Sultan, SAPM on Health for the tireless coordination and support they have extended to our team throughout.

“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.”

Throughout the pandemic, Facebook has worked closely with the two ministries to direct people to authoritative Covid-19 information. A campaign to create awareness about spotting Covid-related misinformation on social media was also launched in Urdu for the Facebook community in Pakistan in partnership with the Ministry of Information’s Digital Media Wing.

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.

Facebook provided Marketing Partner Support and Ad Credits for these campaigns and helped the government increase its engagement rates with the public on these posts between March 16 and April 6, 2021.

As part of these campaigns, Facebook and the ministries focused on creating 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.

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Naya Daur