When COVID-19 or coronavirus broke out there was a lot of misinformation about regarding what it was, it’s effects and the possibilities. Unfortunately some countries are finding out the extremely hard and depressing way that not taking it serious can have dire results.
Misinformation is half of the battle with some world leaders early on stating that they weren’t worried about it becoming a pandemic.
They claimed that they totally had it under control with everyone recuperating successfully, that it was only coming in from China and by stopping passengers from there they had stopped the virus, that we will all be just fine, that it will all work out well, that it will all miraculously go away when the weather gets warmer, that numbers are getting progressively better as we go along, that it was a hoax, it’s very mild, to go to work even if feeling a little bit sick and that one day it will all just disappear — like a miracle.
That is a long list but by no means exhaustive, and as such, the big players in the world of internet information are banding together to pledge to fight the “fraud and misinformation” that is circulating regarding the virus.
The joint statement issued by Google, Facebook, Reddit, Microsoft and Twitter also invites other companies to join them in their fight to “keep our communities healthy and safe”.
The technology industry is working closely together in coordination with government healthcare agencies around the world on COVID-19 response efforts. Read our full statement. pic.twitter.com/Xn0fhyJLXm
— Google Public Policy (@googlepubpolicy) March 17, 2020
The companies, as you can see above, are not just promising to stop misinformation but to also surface accurate, “authoritative content” on each platform. They will also work with government agencies around the world to provide accurate and up to date information as fast as possible.
Google is already helping users get accurate information — I saw a pop up on my YouTube home page the other day pointing me towards accurate content — but the combination of all of the above Internet behemoths can hopefully mean that spread is minimised so that less people have to suffer.
Hospitals are already struggling at this early stage here in Australia, hopefully we can all slow the spread to help make their lives and in turn our lives a lot easier.