Misinformation about the coronavirus is all over the web. Maybe you’ve noticed this as you look for current information, or just scrolled through your Facebook feed.
Major tech companies, including social media platforms and Google, have been making serious efforts to help.
Google is presenting accurate information immediately when you search.
Pinterest is suppressing searches for “coronavirus” and instead showing information from top reliable sources. If you are pinning information on Coronavirus, you will find that your pins will still show up where you put them, but not in search — even your own internal search while pinning.
Facebook has been showing fact checking sites under questionable posts and even removing false posts, but they now are taking an additional step.
When they notice that individuals have been liking, reacting to, or commenting on misinformation, they are inviting those individuals to check out the World Health Organization’s coronavirus mythbusting page. If you click through, you’ll notice that the page looks quite familiar.
The World Health Organization is the source of Pinterest’s coronavirus pins, too.
Facebook says that they have sent more than two billion people to WHO, a reliable source of information on COVID-19. They’ve also invested $100 million in grants for fact-checking organizations around the world.
This is generally being heralded as a good thing. Forbes suggests that Facebook shouldn’t limit their strong measures to coronavirus misinformation. Telecoms calls it censorship and says that there’s plenty of accurate information for people to use to fact check, claiming that “Nothing can be done about those who choose not to and attempting to protect such people from themselves through blanket censorship and culling of information sources is both futile and repressive.”
Are you ready to give up on people who believe — and spread — false information about the pandemic? We like what Facebook is doing, and hope that it isn’t in fact futile.