Facebook has taken a number of hits in recent times due to data leaks, leading to enforcement of new privacy law to come into effect. However, this time, there’s some good to come out of the social media giant. Facebook Messenger is being rolled out to governments in an effort to provide as much information as possible to the public about the coronavirus pandemic.
With Facebook Messenger being one of the world’s most widely used messaging platforms with around 1.5 billion users, there’s a large chance of misinformation being spread. Facebook is looking to limit this and instead, use it for up to date, accurate facts. The program being developed will help the UN and government health organizations share up to the minute information around coronavirus. The idea in its core opens up Facebook Messenger internals to these government organizations as well as developers to create bots, apps, and more, answering frequent questions about COVID-19.
Argentina is somewhat ahead of the curve on this with its Minister of Health launching the new program alongside a bot to answer the public’s questions 24 hours a day. UNICEF and Pakistan are following closely, similarly utilizing Messenger as an outlet for correct coronavirus information.
In addition, Facebook is organizing a hackathon, encouraging developers out there to create new messaging systems/solutions to aid those in social isolation. The participants of said hackathon will work on solutions both small and large, helping both individuals in rural areas and those in central city locations.
It’s great to see a massive online company give back to the world in times like these and we hope to see these messaging solutions being rolled out as soon as possible. Stay safe out there!