Facebook will add messaging to its News Feed and Instagram’s feed to encourage people to wear face masks, the company said on Thursday. An alert will appear at the top of News Feeds on Facebook that directs users to the COVID-19 Information Center, and they will have links to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information. Instagram will include a similar prompt with CDC links.
The company says the move is in response to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the US. On Wednesday, the US set a single-day record, adding 50,000 new cases, as many states began reconsidering their June reopening plans. As of Thursday, the US has more than 2.7 million cases of COVID-19, and more than 128,000 people have died.
The current CDC recommendation is for people to wear masks in public spaces to protect others from possible infection. The masks reduce the transmission of respiratory droplets that may spread the virus.
Facebook has struggled to contain coronavirus misinformation on its platforms during the pandemic. The company has added new features to try to stem the flood of bad information, including an alert to inform people who may have engaged with a post that had false information.
The mask prompts will begin appearing on Instagram and Facebook later today, the company said.