Wednesday , January 27 2021


Big tech companies stop spread of misinformation about corona virus

With the deadly corona virus on the loose and with most countries on high alert, just like every other world emergency or major event, there is bound to be rumors and widespread misinformation about corona virus in circulation. This news is mostly spread on the social internet as this where the audience is frequently logged into.  

Big tech companies, including Facebook, Twitter, and Google has said that it will work on removing fake claims about finding a cure for the virus purported by many individuals, which is false.

Facebook says it will start taking down bogus claims about purported “cures” and other unproven theories surrounding the coronavirus, as the deadly outbreak continues to spread globally, sparking a surge in online chatter and misinformation.

In a blog post late Thursday, the company said that it would remove dangerous claims, such as those that suggest drinking bleach cures the coronavirus, which violates its policies prohibiting users from causing real-world harm. The new policy also would apply to hashtags that promote falsehoods on its photo-sharing site, Instagram.

Facebook will “remove content with false claims or conspiracy theories that have been flagged by leading global health organizations and local health authorities that could cause harm to people who believe them,” according to a blog post published Thursday by Kang-Xing Jin, Facebook’s head of health.

The company’s decision to remove false and misleading information underscores the vast challenge, public health officials around the globe face as they grapple not only with the rapidly spreading coronavirus but also the effects of inaccurate information proliferating quickly, and widely, on social media. 

ALSO READ: What Elon Musk think Twitter could be doing better

Other tech companies like Twitter have said on Wednesday that it would begin prompting users who search for the coronavirus to first visit official channels of information about the illness. In the United States, for example, Twitter directs users to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, beneath a bold headline that reads: “Know the facts.”

With more than 15 million tweets about the coronavirus in four weeks, Twitter has said it believes the search about the virus will continue on its platform, so there is ultimate need to give users legitimate information.

Google, another big Tech Company, has stood up to stand against misinformation about the virus. Youtube, on its part, has said it would only showcase legitimate videos showing the right information about the corona virus.

However, the company has not yet taken down all the videos spreading false information, including cures that do not exist. On Thursday, the company stressed in a statement it is prioritizing authoritative results in searches for the coronavirus. On search, Google also said it had rolled out a special link that directs people to WHO.

Although these moves have been made by these big tech companies to curtail the spread of misinformation about corona virus, some are still being criticized due to their lack of handling misinformation right for a long time now, and more steps like this for stop misinformation are encouraged by the general public for safer use of the internet. 

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Christopher Ihezie

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