Some of the biggest companies and names in the Tech world are grouping up and joining forces to help stop the spread of COVID-19 related misinformation and fraud. The group sent out a joint statement Monday night via Twitter and consists of Facebook, Google, Youtube, Reddit, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Microsoft. The statement itself declares the companies will be working together with government and health care officials to help update and inform the masses responsibly of everything COVID-19 related.
What their Tweet says: Both Google and Microsoft tweeted, “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”. So what exactly will the others be doing? Also the wording is generally vague as to what they will be setting at task of their combined efforts. With a lot of people working from home a lot of these companies have had to rely more on AI for content moderation and in the past couple months we’ve seen a large spread of misinformation on COVID-19 because the AI is not ready.
According to The Verge, COVID-19 misinformation has been spreading like wildfire over these platforms since as early as the virus was discovered in December. These tech and social media companies have been as determined as ever attempting to moderate and stop these fraudulent schemes and activity. There have been fake stories on COVID-19 cures and companies attempting to price gouge, but so far these companies have struggled to keep a lid on the “fake news”.
All of these companies are starting to enforce restrictions on work hours and sending employees to work from home meaning they have to rely on ai moderation more. Expect more mistakes and leaks of misinformation from any sort of source. According to The Verge, even the White House had to publicly announce that the President was not planning on quarantining the whole country because of rumors being spread. Be safe, stay inside right now and make sure you stay educated on everything going on right now regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet and be weary when it comes to your data privacy and protection. At some point the world will return to normalcy and will you still be in charge of your data when it does?