Tech Giants Working Together to Combat False Information During Coronavirus

Unfortunately, there is a lot of false information being spread across online platforms during the Coronavirus. The spread of false information causes people to panic even more. As a result, the major online media platforms have teamed up during this time to limit the spreading of false information about the Coronavirus. 

In a joint statement, YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Google and Facebook stated:

"We are working closely together on COVID-19 response efforts. We're helping millions of people stay connected while also jointly combating fraud and misinformation about the virus, elevating authoritative content on our platforms, and sharing critical updates in coordination with government healthcare agencies around the world. We invite other companies to join us as we work to keep our communities healthy and safe". 

Additional efforts and announcements include:

Instagram: Instagram tweeted in a thread that "to help people get relevant and up-to-date resources, we will start showing more information from WHO and local health ministries at the top of Instagram's feed in some countries". They added that they "will no longer allow people to search for COVID-19 related and AR effects on Instagram, unless they were developed in partnership with a recognized health organization" to combat the spread of false news. 

YouTube: YouTube announced in a blog post that it is reducing the number of employees working in its offices. They announced in this blog post that they will "temporarily start relying more on technology to help with some of the work normally done by reviewers". As a result, YouTube's automated systems will take more of the responsibility of removing content from YouTube's platform. YouTube is warning users that they "may see increased video removals, including some videos that do not violate policies". 

Those who have a video removed that does not violate policies can appeal the decision. They have warned that their workforce reduction will "also result in delayed appeal reviews". 

Twitter: In a blog post, Twitter stated that their "goal is to elevate and amplify authoritative health information as far as possible". Twitter has partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure the information users are viewing on its platform is credible. They have also cited their efforts as "continuing its zero-tolerance approach to platform manipulating and any other attempts to abuse" their service. 

Microsoft: Microsoft is doing its part by releasing their Crisis Communications app to help businesses coordinate information sharing and team collaboration. According to Microsoft's blog post on their new app, key features include:

  • Employees being able to report their work status and make requests, allowing managers to coordinate with team members and helping central response teams to track an organization's status. 
  • Admins can utilize the app to release news, updates and content specific to their team.
  • The inclusion of up-to-date information from WHO, CDC, or local authorities.

LinkedIn: In an email to its customers, LinkedIn stated that to help support workforces, they've "opened up a number of LinkedIn Learning courses that focus on being productive while working from home, including tips on using virtual meeting tools to build relationships in a new working environment". 

They also cite their efforts as "moving quickly to share reliable information and resources". They said they have made using facts a priority by "curating trusted, real time news and facts on COVID-19, including insights on the impact to the economy, how organizations are responding, and policy changes being made by the World Health Organization". 

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