Facebook to tell users to wear a mask to prevent the spread of coronavirus


People wearing masks walk past a “Real New Yorkers Can Handle It” sign near Union Square amid the coronavirus pandemic on May 16, 2020 in New York City.

Alexi Rosenfeld | Getty Images

Facebook announced Thursday it will start recommending that people wear face coverings when out in public as coronavirus cases spike in the United States.

Both Facebook and Instagram users will see an alert at the top of their feeds that encourage wearing masks and direct users to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for additional information.

The development comes as Covid-19 cases spike across the country. More than 2.68 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the United States as of Thursday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

That’s led to regulators in twenty-one states and Washington, D.C. to mandate that people wear masks, though the regulations vary from state to state. Numerous health experts have said masks could save lives by helping prevent the spread of the virus.

It’s the latest move on Facebook’s end to use its platform to try and slow the spread of Covid-19. After the WHO declared Covid-19 a global health emergency in January, Facebook started removing misinformation about the outbreak from its platforms. The company in April began warning users if they have liked, reacted or commented on harmful coronavirus posts that the company has found to be misinformation and removed.

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