Social media company Facebook continues to adjust its policies and redouble its efforts to eliminate the spread of false information about the outbreak and viral conspiracy theories, according tomedia reports. In addition, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok are also fighting misinformation related to the outbreak of the new coronavirus pneumonia.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reiterated in a facebook post Tuesday that the platform is removing conspiracy theories about the outbreak of the new coronavirus pneumonia. These conspiracy theories have been labeled as coronavirus misinformation by the Global Health Organization, and the platform also labels such conspiracy theories as “fact-checking” false information to let users know.
Zuckerberg also said Facebook is providing “as many free ads as possible” to the World Health Organization (WHO) and that the company will block ads that mislead epidemic prevention efforts and exploit the epidemic for illegal profit, such as those claiming to have special effects in curing the Covid-19 disease.
Panic has been circulating on social media since the outbreak of the new coronavirus pneumonia outbreak, forcing the technology platforms to grapple with all kinds of information about the outbreak on their platforms.
As of March 4, the new coronavirus has infected nearly 95,000 people worldwide, including a large number of cases across the United States. More over 3,200 people have died from the new coronavirus infection worldwide. But a study by Johns Hopkins University says 51,000 people infected with the virus have been cured and discharged from the hospital.
More and more people are using the Internet to search for information about coronavirus outbreaks, and they are vulnerable to a wealth of misleading and potentially dangerous information. WHO warns that misinformation about the new coronavirus has created harmful stigma and discrimination. In the United States, for example, there are increasing reports that misinformation contributes to racism against Asian Americans.
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok have all told the media that they have been trying to promote factual content and are limiting misinformation posted on their platforms. For example, when a user uses the Twitter platform to search for a “coronavirus,” they see a warning tag and search results point to the CDC’s web page. WHO uses the TikTok platform to provide accurate information about coronaviruses. In addition, the companies met with public health organizations on Facebook in February to discuss information on the response to the outbreak.
However, the efforts of these social media platforms have not been able to completely stop the spread of misleading or outright disinformation about the outbreak. This information takes the form of posts and videos that have been clicked, “liked” and shared thousands of times. A great deal of false information about coronaviruses is also spreading through private channels. In WhatsApp, for example, the encrypted platform has a flood of misinformation about coronaviruses that have caused panic among users around the world.