Social media and the FOPH

We use Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to inform and engage with the public on health topics that fall under the FOPH's remit. This page answers some questions you may have about social media.

In what languages do we communicate?

We generally post in German, French and Italian. In some cases, posts are also available in Romansh and English. We always mention which languages are available in the meta tags, except on Twitter due to a lack of space.

Moderation charter – how we moderate the community

We’re open to any comments, remarks, or questions that you might have about our posts, including criticism. To ensure information is correct and that our social media accounts remain courteous and high-quality spaces for dialogue, we apply the following moderation rules.

1. Conduct and courtesy

We expect users to only distribute information that is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge. They must also show respect. Comments that are unclear, of a commercial nature, or that contain incorrect information will be hidden.

Comments that are defamatory, lewd, or that discriminate e.g. on the grounds of race, sex, religion, nationality or sexual orientation will be deleted, as will those that incite hatred or violence.

Personal attacks, whether aimed at an employee of the FOPH or another internet user, as well as abusive or rude posts or those that infringe copyright will not be accepted.

2. Topic

Please remain on topic. Comments must be relevant to the post and relate to the topic being discussed. We will delete messages that are unrelated to the content, messages of a commercial nature, or those that contain a link aimed at deliberately driving traffic to a site or account (unless it is relevant to the discussion).

3. Advertising, spam and propaganda

We will not accept duplication of identical or very similar posts. In addition, messages of a commercial nature, classified advertisements, or messages containing personal contact information (e.g. a phone number) or just a link, will be systematically deleted. Anything resembling anti-FOPH propaganda has no place on our social media.

4. Specific or personal matters

If you would like to ask a question, please use Facebook or Instagram messaging, Twitter DMs, or our email address:  

We reserve the right to hide or delete comments without prior notice if they fail to comply with these guidelines, and to block without warning anyone who repeatedly breaks the rules.

Please note that Facebook uses automated comment moderation. Some comments may be identified as spam by Facebook when they are posted and thus disappear without us doing anything. We endeavour to verify all comments, but in the event of very high numbers of comments, some may escape our attention.

WhatsApp – processing of personal data

We use a WhatsApp bot to inform you about COVID-19. The bot is operated by the third-party provider Infobip. Users can use the bot on a voluntary basis on WhatsApp.

WhatsApp collects data independently to supply the bot. To understand the purpose and scope of data collection by WhatsApp, the processing and subsequent use of your data, and your rights and setting options to protect your privacy, please see WhatsApp’s privacy policy.

WhatsApp Ireland, which is responsible for the WhatsApp messaging service, is subject to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The competent authority for ensuring it is complied with is the Irish data protection authority.

We would like to point out that WhatsApp also stores user data in third countries outside the EU, and exchanges data with other supplier services when the bot is used. We have no influence over this.

When users sign up, Infobip registers an anonymised mobile phone number on servers in Germany. The data are automatically retained for 30 days. Only Infobip has access to these data. Infobip will not pass them on to third parties. Apart from the anonymised phone number, no other data are stored.

Disinformation and fake news

It is important to note that responsibility for information shared by users of our social media remains solely with the authors and that we cannot confirm the accuracy of the information shared.

We would encourage you to be extra vigilant regarding disinformation and fake news which may be circulated in the comments, particularly during emergency or crisis situations, when unverified information spreads more quickly than information requiring scientific verification. Never assume that information from an unknown account is correct.

You’ll find some of the disinformation and fake news we identified in picture form below:  

Last modification 18.09.2020

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