World’s Largest Online Platforms Are Working Together to Fight Coronavirus Misinformation

Posted on March 17, 2020 by Mehedi Hassan in Google, Microsoft, Social with 11 Comments

Fake news is a big problem on the internet. Companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter, and others invest a ton of resources to help protect users on their online platforms against misinformation.

And although some of that has been effective, misinformation continues to be a huge problem on the internet. And with the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, there has been a lot of misinformation on social networks, especially on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

The companies behind these platforms have already been working to take actions against such misinformation at this difficult time. However, a number of large tech companies issued a joint industry statement this morning about such misinformation.

“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,” the statement reads. “We invite other companies to join us as as we work to keep our communities healthy and safe,” the statement added.

The joint industry statement was signed by Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter, and YouTube.

The move comes after representatives from a number of US tech companies remotely met with White House officials. According to reports, the White House had asked help from tech companies to help fight coronavirus misinformation.

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Comments (12)

12 responses to “World’s Largest Online Platforms Are Working Together to Fight Coronavirus Misinformation”

  1. Avatar

    red.radar

    oh .... so coronavirus is not a bio weapon that came from a Chinese lab? .... didn’t see that coming. /sarcasm


    Next, seems like we need to address Traditional media.

    • Avatar

      longhorn

      In reply to red.radar:

      If you look at the numbers: Infected and dead - corona is the biggest scam in modern history. $10 trillion in losses for a minor flu-like epidemic. Engineering economic recession, but for what reason?


      • Avatar

        proftheory

        In reply to longhorn:

        Example of what is not needed. But it does fall under Freedom of Speech.


      • Avatar

        gelfer

        In reply to longhorn:

        Without action, there would be 200.000 people dying in our country, and way too much people would not be able to get treated in medical infra. In italy nurses & doctors need to choose which patients to treat and which just to leave to fight the infection alone.

        Would you like it if you or your family would be among those 200K? Purely in figures, 200K on a total of 10M may just be acceptable, after all we accept deaths in traffic too, right? In the US they're so fond of guns they gladly accept their children to just get shot in schools (or so it looks from a non-US citizen). But that's all until you get to the choosing part. Which ones will you choose to let die? How much $$-value your or another life? What would be the amount of money you would accept for the death of your son/daughter/wife/mother/father? If you find corona a scam, this shows absolutely zero respect for human life or the work of medical personnel working the crisis right now.

  2. Avatar

    videosavant

    The tech sector is just one more of our institutions will little remaining credibility. Quite predictable that they would decide to squander what remains here.


    Any attempt to "curate" content is going to result in just another sort of bias, more organized and more pervasive, but no less tainted than outright lies.


    The only antidote to bad information is more information, not less.


    None of this content nanny work would be needed if people would simply question EVERYTHING they read or hear and not rely on any single source of information. Challenge yourself to find facts, rather than relying on virtuous busy bodies rushing forward to put themselves in charge of truth.

    • Avatar

      proftheory

      The tech sector is just one more of our institutions will little remaining credibility. Quite predictable that they would decide to squander what remains here.


      Any attempt to "curate" content is going to result in just another sort of bias, more organized and more pervasive, but no less tainted than outright lies.


      Prof_Theory: Everyone is biased including those at Petri.com. Sometimes the bias is just to simply offer help. What will be interesting to see is if they are successful at filtering out misinformation will they be prompted to do that for all posts in the future?


      The only antidote to bad information is more information, not less.


      Prof_Theory: If only that were true. sometimes the correct information is available but they just don't trust the source.


      None of this content nanny work would not be needed if people would simply question EVERYTHING they read or hear and not rely on any single source of information. Challenge yourself to find facts, rather than relying on virtuous busy bodies rushing forward to put themselves in charge of truth.


      Prof_Theory: I mostly agree it is good to question things but part of the problem is that people are relying on bad or biased sources leading to incorrect conclusions.

      Case in point: if you've gone out in public and look at the people who are wearing masks. Often times they are the wrong masks or otherwise worn incorrectly. Even if they have the recommended masks and gloves worn correctly they ignore the bit about "...don't wear masks if your NOT infected because they don't properly protect you.

      Think about it - the person wearing the mask/gloves gets an itch and rubs their eyes - BAM they just touched the membrane of the eye with the contaminated surface of the glove.

      Which reminds me that as someone who wears glasses I need to clean them often with soap and water since any solotion to try and sterilize them would ruin the coating on them and I wouldn't be able to use them. Some cleaning solutions might be bad also. YMMV

    • Avatar

      red.radar

      In reply to videosavant:

      The problem is at an individual level. We are highly informed but poorly educated. Thus the mob is easily manipulated.


      we have to turn the tide by re-teaching ourselves and our children what primary sources of quality information look like. We need to stop echoing bad information and shallow analysis and spin. It’s our problem to solve not tech platforms. Asking a big brother to help save us at best raises a benevolent dictator or at worse an oppressor of freedoms and rights.




  3. Avatar

    PanamaVet

    That's putting the Fox in charge of the Hen House.

  4. Avatar

    mark1080

    I bet the same ''heroes of tech' are not so saintly about giving their workers - permanent and casual - sick leave, so they are not obliged to go to work and spread their germs.

  5. Avatar

    robincapper

    The problem is they are blocking valid info too. Link to an official media website written by a Medical Expert (and well known here science communicator) requesting community participation in an official health monitoring project blocked as spam

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