Facebook, Google, YouTube, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Reddit, and Twitter have announced that they are working together alongside government health agencies to limit the spread of “misinformation” relating to the Wuhan coronavirus.
Business Insider reports that multiple Silicon Valley tech firms have announced that they’re working together to fight misinformation surrounding the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic. Facebook published a joint statement from the tech firms on its website this week. The joint statement from Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter, and YouTube reads:
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, elevating authoritative content on our platforms, and sharing critical updates in coordination with government healthcare agencies around the world. We invite other companies to join us as we work to keep our communities healthy and safe.
The social media firms have been under pressure recently to crack down on fake coronavirus cures, false testing methods, and other inaccurate or misleading claims that have quickly spread across social media in recent months. Facebook and Twitter have both taken steps to ban content about the Wuhan coronavirus that could cause harm, both platforms will also be highlighting information from government agencies under searches related to the outbreak.
Google has announced a 24-hour coronavirus incident response team that would work to remove misinformation from search results and YouTube while promoting accurate information from health agencies. Verily, a sister company to tech giant Google, recently launched a website that allows adults in northern California to answer questions about their health and recent travel events that could result in them receiving a free coronavirus test. President Donald Trump previously thanked Google on Friday for developing a website to help the public determine if they needed to take a coronavirus test. The media accused Trump of fake news over the tool, which Google later conclusively refuted.