It’s bad enough when a pandemic turns your life upside down without having to hear or read misinformation about it. So today, some of the most popular social media apps and sites in the world have signed a statement promising to prevent fraud and lies about the coronavirus from permeating their platforms. According to ZDNet, the seven social media sites signing off on the statement include Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter, and YouTube.
The joint statement reads, “We are working closely together on COVID-19 response efforts. 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.”
You might recall that just yesterday we told you that one rumor making the rounds on social media said that the Trump administration had instituted a national quarantine. The official National Security Council Twitter account (@WHNSC) sent out a tweet Monday morning stating that reports of a national quarantine or lockdown are fake. The tweet suggested that citizens can get the latest legitimate coronavirus news by following the Center for Disease Control’s Twitter account (which is @CDCgov).
Some of the social media companies that signed the statement have already tried to rid their platforms of misleading ads and conspiracy theories. And Google has removed fraudulent COVID-19 apps from the Google Play Store. To avoid getting tricked by misleading information (which in all seriousness could cost you your life) we would suggest that you stick with trusted news sources. If you feel that CNN, MSNBC or Fox are too politicized for you, you might consider AP News (iOS|Android) or Reuters (iOS|Android).