KEY POINTS

  • The companies have co-signed a statement to jointly combat "fraud and misinformation about the virus"
  • The companies want to help share "critical updates in coordination with government healthcare agencies around the world"
  • Companies include Facebook, Google, and its subsidiary YouTube, Microsoft and its subsidiary LinkedIn, Reddit, and Twitter

All major social network companies and their parent corporations co-signed a statement promising to check the spread of misleading content regarding COVID-19 on their platforms. 

Facebook, Google and its subsidiary YouTube, Microsoft and its subsidiary LinkedIn, Reddit, and Twitter jointly took the step in an unprecedented move to reassure customers and flag the potential for misinformation about COVID-19 on their platforms.

"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,”  the joint statement released Monday read.

These social media platforms facilitate the spread of misleading information. They were facing immense pressure to crack down and remove all false claims regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Fake information on coronavirus cures, false testing methods and inaccurate information and claims on statistics are being circulated on these platforms, making it difficult for the users to decide on what to believe. 

Google started the change by announcing a coronavirus response team that will function 24/7 and will work to remove fake and misleading pieces of information from its search results,  prohibiting ads intended to create panic or imply that certain products guarantee a cure or prevent people from contracting the coronavirus. It will also focus on providing accurate information about the pandemic from certified and helpful resources like the WHO and local health ministries.  The company will give the WHO as many free ads as the organization requires. This team will also be monitoring Youtube.

Facebook will include information cards on Instagram and Facebook, that redirect to sources like the WHO or local health authorities.