The coronavirus has been so pervasive that it’s borderline impossible to find any recent article that doesn’t at least mention it. With so much content out there, particularly information about something that it’s imperative the majority of under people understand the basics of, misinformation becomes a massive issue. That’s why major tech platforms from around the world are coming together to help combat misinformation surrounding COVID-19.
Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft, Reddit, YouTube and LinkedIn all came together to release a joint statement at what they will be doing to combat misinformation.
“We are working closely together on COVID-19 response efforts,” reads 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.”
While that joint statement doesn’t give a lot of specifics, it does show that these companies are taking both COVID-19 and the threat of misinformation seriously. Individual companies have gone on to detail the specific steps that they’ll be taking.
Facebook, for instance, announced that they are offering $100 million for small businesses across 30 different countries to help them combat the economic hardships that this pandemic continues to bring with it. Facebook will give out cash and grants to as many as 30,000 different enterprises throughout this initiative.
Facebook promised an additional $1 million to the International Fact Checking Network to help combat misinformation from spreading about the COVID-19 outbreak. Few people need reminding that Facebook has quite a history when it comes to fake news. That’s clearly a motivating factor behind the social media company putting so much time and resources towards combating any fake news on their platform surrounding COVID-19.
Of course, it’s not just social media platforms, but also internet-service providers (ISPs) who are coming together to help during this pandemic. Many ISPs like Verizon, Comcast and more have announced that they are lifting data caps for their customers and opening up wifi hotspots for anyone who needs them.
The coronavirus is shaping up to be much more than just a flash in the pan. As people adapt to this new reality, so must companies. It’s great to see so many ISPs and tech companies stepping up when they are needed.