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How Facebook Is Using Its Data For Good in the Coronavirus Pandemic

By Corinne Cardina - Feb 28, 2021 at 6:15AM

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Facebook's Head of Health KX Jin describes how the social media giant is supporting local COVID responses.

With more than 2.6 billion daily users, it's no secret that Facebook (META -0.76%) reaches a lot of people around the world across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Building on its COVID-19 information center, the tech stock recently announced a big push to provide authoritative information about coronavirus vaccines. This new campaign will connect users with localized vaccine information, remove more vaccine misinformation from its platforms, and donate $120 million in ad credits to health agencies. 

Corinne Cardina,'s healthcare and cannabis bureau chief, got the chance to speak with KX Jin, Facebook's Head of Health, on Feb. 10 about Facebook's plan to increase trust in COVID vaccines. Here, he discusses the Data for Good project and how Facebook's response to the pandemic has translated to real-world solutions.



Corinne Cardina: I'd like to talk about the Data for Good project that was mentioned in the announcement. This project was launched in 2017. It allows Facebook to leverage its data for good, name of the project. But in 2020, this project actually supported local coronavirus responses. Could you share some examples of real-world impacts from either the COVID-19 Information Center or the Data for Good projects since the pandemic began?

KX Jin: Absolutely. I talked about this before, but just the overall reach of people with accurate information, I think, is really extraordinary. At this point, over 2 billion people from 189 countries have gotten reliable information about COVID and how they can really keep themselves safe through the Information Center and some of our other efforts. Specifically on the data side, we've seen the efforts by us and some of my partners have actually translated into results. For example, CDC Foundation and Ad Council in the United States last year ran a campaign around trying to increase people's masking behaviors. The measurement associated campaign showed that it increased people's behavior by almost four percentage points, which is quite significant. More generally, we've been partnering very closely with Carnegie Mellon University surveys to help people understand mastering trends and other key behaviors and needs that people have. This is now one of the primary sources of understanding this around the world.

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