Social Media Giants Fighting Coronavirus Fake News.
Recently, the world's largest social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others have pulled out all the stops to combat the wave of false reports, hacking attempts and more that have spread like wildfire about the coronavirus.
But, these efforts have not worked.
So far, there is not sufficient enough evidence proving a group of accounts from a possible outside company is actively promoting any of this coronavirus-related misinformation to the wider public.
Alas, people are going ahead by sharing rumors, fake stories and half-truths about the coronavirus with each other directly across different portals be it through social media or even WhatsApp messages. But where does that put both the public along with those who are in charge of twitter and other social media platforms? How are they able to protect themselves as well as their family members? How can you believe what is shared on the aforementioned platforms about a pandemic when you have too many choices to pick from?
That's proving to be a serious problem.
Big Tech companies and government agencies have created task forces to fight coordinated campaigns that continue to spread misinformation. But they are relatively powerless to slow down on this sort of grassroots, user-created misinformation that has become the default way for sharing the spread across social media as fast as the virus itself is jumping from country to country.
In part, social media companies are actively taking a stand against the spread of misinformation.
Social media networks are depending on everyday users to determine what they should and should not share.
According to Politico, “Google, whose YouTube platform has been criticized for failing to stop hate speech, climate change denial and other forms of misinformation, banned some coronavirus-related apps from its smartphone store and blocked people looking to make money from the pandemic from buying ads on its digital networks.”
Regardless of all of the problems that have come from sharing information about the coronavirus, it's become hard to stop spreading the information despite whether the data is correct or not. When users who have been urged by these companies over years to share every detail of their daily lives online are now the engine for how these false claims are spread it is difficult to find fault at blaming them.
Social networks, by their very nature, are social. So, with people from Oman to the United States now fretting about how to respond to the growing threat of coronavirus, it's no surprise that Big Tech is finding itself with few levers to pull to counter the growing levels of misinformation when it is users, and not state-backed, coordinated campaigns, who are driving these online falsehoods.
After years of creating these digital homes, it has now become a moving and driving force in all of our lives that are nearly impossible to turn off.