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A medical staff member takes the temperature of a man at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in China on Jan. 25. HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images

Coronavirus: Facebook And Others To Promote Content From Verified Sources

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Facebook and Google have said that they will only promote content on the Coronavirus from only Verifiable sources. The social media companies said they will start taking down bogus claims other unproven theories surrounding the coronavirus.

 

The claims include purported cures as the deadly outbreak continues to spread around the world, sparking a surge in online chatter and misinformation.

 

According to a blog post published by Kang-Xing Jin, Facebook’s head of health, the company promises to:

 

“Remove content with false claims or conspiracy theories that have been flagged by leading global health organizations and local health authorities that could cause harm to people who believe them.” 

 

Jin explained that the removals will include claims “related to false cures or prevention methods” or “that create confusion about health resources that are available.”

 

Twitter and Google have also stepped up efforts to guide their users to verified sources on the disease.

Google announced that whenever people search for information about the coronavirus, they will see a special notice with updates from the WHO.

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Twitter also said that it would begin directing its users who search for the coronavirus to first visit official channels of information about the illness.

 

For example, in the US, Twitter directs users to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, beneath a bold headline that reads: “Know the facts.”

 

 

YouTube will also only promote videos from credible sources

YouTube, has said it will only promote videos from credible sources when people search for videos about the virus. The company says it is only going to direct its users to content from trusted users, like public health experts or news outlets, in search results or panels that suggest which videos to watch next.

 

Facebook also adds that it will increase its fact-checking and monitoring efforts for its other company, Instagram.

 

Jin said users who click on a hashtag related to the coronavirus will get a “pop-up with credible information.”

Instagram wants to prioritize only legitimate sources of information. Jin said, by letting only select organizations run free ads that help educate people about the virus. Jin noted in the Thursday blog post that not all the new measures were “fully in place” yet.

“It will take some time to roll them out across our platforms and step up our enforcement methods,” he wrote. He further said that “focusing on claims that are designed to discourage treatment or taking appropriate precautions.” 

 

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