CSG Associates in Action: Facebook Provides Multiple Resources to Combat COVID-19

Following natural disasters and in times of national crisis, America’s private sector steps up to aid the states. We are proud of the herculean efforts of the CSG Leadership Circle and CSG Associates, our private sector members, as we together combat COVID-19.

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Facebook, a CSG Associate, is supporting the global public health community’s work to keep people safe and informed. Since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a public health emergency in January, it has taken steps to stop misinformation and harmful content, support global health experts, local governments, businesses and communities and provide access to accurate information.

Recently launched by Facbeook, the COVID-19 Information Center provides information and resources — from trusted health authorities — to help people stay healthy as they support their families and broader communities. This tool will be accessible at the top of the News Feed. Facebook has also built the CrowdTangle Live Displays so that users can track the latest COVID-19 content being shared on Facebook and Instagram in their states.

Facebookisworking to provide Americans with reliable information from trusted health authorities and to offer resources to governments, emergency service organizations and others in need. The Facebook newsroom is being updated in real time, highlighting Facebook’s efforts to help people have what they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the company is engaged in multiple efforts including local alerts, a workplace platform and various grants to combat the virus.

Facebook Local Alerts is a free tool that allows state and local government, public health agency and first responder Pages to broadcast essential updates to people in their communities via Facebook by marking a page post as a local alert, which sends out a notification to page followers who live in a community. With four out of five internet users actively engaging on Facebook each month in the U.S., this is a powerful tool to reach communities in emergency situations.

Facebook Workplace Advanced, a workplace platform for governments and emergency health organizations,is being made available for free for a year to governments and emergency service organizations globally. This platformuses simple and secure tools like video calling, groups, News Feed, file sharing and instant messaging to keep entire organizations connected and informed.

In addition to the technology Facebook is providing, $100 million in Facebook grants will support over 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries in which Facebook operates to show that Facebook is focused on helping businesses easily find the help, training and support they need.

Facebook has made an additional $100 million investment to support the news industry — $25 million in emergency grant funding for local news through the Facebook Journalism Project, and $75 million in additional marketing spend to move money over to news organizations around the world. Through the COVID-19 Community Network grant program, direct funding is helping journalists cover important stories when we all need them most.

To make it easier for people to get help and find out how to offer support in local communities impacted by COVID-19, Facebook also launched a new Community Help Section at facebook.com/covidsupport. Here, people can request help or offer it to someone in need, donate to fundraisers and volunteer for nonprofits in their community, all in one place. In honor of the solidarity and resilience of so many people shown by coming together during this time, Facebook also released a short film, “Never Lost,” that links to this new community support page.

Facebook’s Data for Good partners have built a global network of health researchers who stand ready to support the public sector with analytical work products that are streamlined and actionable. They are piloting this with Direct Relief, a non-profit working with California Governor Newsom’s office to provide insights. If interested, please email [email protected] to be connected with the COVID19 Mobility Data Network.

“As COVID-19 continues to create challenges in states across the U.S., we’re working to connect people to accurate information and support health experts, local governments, businesses and communities being affected,” said Will Castleberry, vice president of State Policy at Facebook. “We’re also working to address the long-term impacts by supporting companies in need and making it easier for people to find and offer help in their communities.”

Associates in Action articles highlight CSG Associates’ philanthropic efforts and public-private partnerships throughout the states.