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Facebook, Google and Twitter Scramble to Stop Misinformation About Coronavirus

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Misinformation About Coronavirus

Medical workers with a woman suspected of having coronavirus in Wuhan, China.

Credit: Tony Romm

Facebook, Google, and Twitter are struggling to prevent misinformation and outright falsehoods spreading on their platforms about the outbreak of the coronavirus, which started in China and has started to spread around the world.

Facebook is working with its partner fact-checkers to label such inaccuracies and lower the rank of those users peddling fake treatments for the disease.

Meanwhile, Twitter has started guiding U.S. users searching for coronavirus-related hashtags to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While Google-owned YouTube said its algorithm prioritizes credible sources, a number of videos on the site pushed dubious information about the origin of coronavirus and its means of transmission.

Renee DiResta of the Stanford Internet Observatory said, "The platforms should certainly be putting their fact-checking and algorithmic downranking of conspiracy content to work here," adding, “This kind of content dynamic is not unique — it shows up for any new outbreak."

From The Washington Post
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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