“We are not just fighting an epidemic, we are fighting an infodemic. Fake news spreads faster and easier than this virus and is just as dangerous ”. This is the statement by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization. Reason why - in such a complex situation - Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit and Twitter have joined forces to face the spread of fake news and misleading news.
In a joint statement, tech companies said they are working closely together to respond to the COVID-19 emergency. The goal is to fight “scams and disinformation about the virus, giving more visibility to authoritative content on our platforms and sharing important updates in coordination with government health agencies around the world. We invite other companies to join us as we work to keep our communities healthy and safe. "
The technology industry is working closely together in coordination with government healthcare agencies around the world on COVID-19 response efforts. Read our full statement. pic.twitter.com/Xn0fhyJLXm
— Google Public Policy (@googlepubpolicy) March 17, 2020
Each company will use their respective platforms for inform users about real and verified facts eliminating all those contents, generically recognized as fake news. We do not know what the plans actually are, but - as we have seen in recent weeks - they have already moved to try to stem the problem. Facebook, for example, is deleting all those posts that do not report accurate information and has included fact sheets (including on Instagram) that link to WHO or local health authorities.
In the past few hours, the giant of Menlo Park has however made it known that, relying mainly on artificial intelligence to evaluate the quality of the posts, some contents have been mistakenly blocked. The problem is being resolved.
Another example is LinkedIn which has created a special section of the feed that reports news from official and recognized organizations, such as the World Health Organization. Google is also working to promptly eliminate content that spreads misinformation both on its search engine and on YouTube. In short, they are all hard at work to provide their support in such a delicate moment.
We take this opportunity to reiterate a fundamental concept. It is necessary and necessary to obtain information from official and authoritative sources, to verify the veracity of what we are reading before sharing it with friends and relatives or on our social profiles. Without forgetting to strictly comply with the measures provided for by the Prime Minister's Decree of 11 March.