The WHO and CDC Are All Over Social Media, but Are They Making a Difference?

Platforms and health authorities have taken unprecedented steps, but early misinformation casts doubt on efficacy


As the coronavirus spreads around the world, it leaves a trail of misinformation in its wake. On social media, where the algorithms reward engaging content regardless of its veracity, platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube carry the hefty burden of cleaning up harmful rumors from innocent users, bogus claims from profiteers and disinformation campaigns from bad actors. 

But if you’ve logged onto a social platform recently, you’ve probably seen something different. Platforms are giving banners, landing pages and free ads to the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health agencies around the world.

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This story first appeared in the April 6, 2020, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.