Tech companies team up to fight coronavirus lies
Several of the world’s biggest tech firms are joining forces to tackle the spread of coronavirus-related misinformation on their platforms.
In a joint statement, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Microsoft, Reddit and YouTube said they were working closely together to respond to the growing problem.
“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,” the statement said.
“We invite other companies to join us as we work to keep our communities healthy and safe.”
Although it’s unclear what concrete steps the companies plan to take, most of the companies involved have already taken a hard stance on misinformation on their platforms and have been proactive when dealing with hoaxes in the past.
Many opportunistic fraudsters have already started taking advantage of people’s concerns on social media by, for example, selling fake cures or circulating false information to cause distress.
A study carried out by the National Literacy Trust in December 2019 found that more than half of parents in the UK don't think that their child possesses the necessary skills to spot misinformation online and that around a third of families used social media to get their news.