Facebook rolls out survey for US users to identify potential hotspots for Covid-19

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on April 07, 2020 Published on April 07, 2020

File photo   -  Bloomberg

The survey will be used to generate new insights for developing response strategies to combat the pandemic in the US

Facebook will now display a pop-up survey on top of the News Feed for Facebook users in the United States as part of its symptom mapping project to better understand where the next wave of the pandemic is likely to hit, the social media giant said on Monday.

The tech giant will display “a prompt on Facebook encouraging people in the US to participate in a voluntary survey from Carnegie Mellon University Delphi Research Center designed to help health researchers identify Covid-19 hotspots earlier,” it said.

The survey will be used to generate new insights for developing response strategies to combat the pandemic in the US including heat maps of self-reported symptoms.

“This information can help health systems plan where resources are needed and potentially when, where and how to reopen parts of society,” it said.

If the project is successful, Facebook will be launching the survey globally to map our potential hotspots worldwide.

The firm has ensured complete user privacy while mapping and will share only a single statistic with CMU Delphi Research known as a weight value that doesn’t identify a user but helps correct for any sample bias.

It has also launched three new Disease Prevention Maps which are aggregated sets of information to help health researchers understand how population dynamics influence the spread of Covid-19. Facebook’s

Co-location maps help map out the probability of people in one area coming in contact with people in another location to understand where cases may appear next.

Its ‘Movement range trends map shows whether people are staying home and if not, what parts of a town are they visiting at a regional level.

Facebook’s social connectedness index shows “friendships” across states and countries for researchers to forecast the likelihood of disease spread, as well as where areas which are the most impacted by Covid-19 might seek support.

Published on April 07, 2020

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