- Facebook, Google, YouTube, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Reddit, and Twitter said they’re working with each other and government health agencies to ensure people see accurate information about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19.
- The companies are hoping to combat fraudulent and harmful content on their platforms, according to a joint statement published on Facebook’s website Monday.
- The coronavirus pandemic has caused a spike in fake news and profiteering that’s testing the industry’s ability to crack down on harmful content.
Several of the world’s largest social media companies announced that they’re working together to fight misinformation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and the COVID-19 disease, according to a joint statement published to Facebook’s website on Monday.
Facebook, Google and its subsidiary YouTube, Microsoft and its subsidiary LinkedIn, Reddit, and Twitter all co-signed the statement.
“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,” the statement read. “We invite other companies to join us as we work to keep our communities healthy and safe.”
The statement comes as social media companies are under immense pressure to crack down on rampant fake coronavirus cures, false testing methods, and other inaccurate or misleading claims that have spread across their platforms.
Facebook and Twitter have taken steps to ban content about the coronavirus that could cause harm — both platforms said they’ll highlight government agency information under searches for coronavirus-related terms.
Google recently announced a 24-hour coronavirus incident response team and said it will work to remove misinformation from search results and YouTube, while also promoting accurate information from health agencies. On Sunday, Google sister company Verily released an apparently half-finished website meant to direct Americans to testing locations, after President Donald Trump announced it prematurely.
But the sheer volume of fake news, which the World Health Organization has called an “infodemic,” is testing whether the industry is actually capable of effectively limiting the spread of misinformation.