Role of Tech Companies in Fighting Covid-19 Crisis

Facebook, Reddit, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube have come together to curb misinformation surrounding Covid-19. Ever since the novel coronavirus started spreading, parallelly fake news about the same also began making rounds. Now, that can be even more contagion.

So after a meeting with U.S Chief Technology Officer Michael Michael Kratsios last week, the Big Tech has assembled to help.

This is what their joint communication reads as –

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Here is how tech companies fighting Cornonavirus misinformation and giving back –

Role of Tech Companies in Fighting Covid-19 Crisis
Tech Companies are giving back
  • Instagram and Facebook have been hoarding awareness messages atop user feed clicking which will redirect the user to the WHO site. Likewise, Whatsapp has a Coronavirus Information Hub which is aimed at helping various support services like healthcare professionals, educators, non-profit organizations, local governments, and local businesses. Their fact-checkers are also busy distilling fake news. WhatsApp has committed a $1 million grant for this purpose. Additionally, FB has pledged a total of $20 million in battling Corona. It has also initiated a matching fund to encourage its users to contribute.
  • Google is doing its part by what it does best – placing information at your fingertips. It has been blogging about relevant measures it’s taking, tips for work from home, etc. Besides, it has launched a screening and testing website for Covid-19.
  • Microsoft has bing.com/covid as its take on coronavirus tracker.
  • LinkedIn has shared a post on March 13 compiling trustworthy news sources. Moreover, in its daily new rundown, users get to fetch a quick update on Coronavirus news.
  • Twitter is working on moderating tweets. It tweeted an update on its continued strategy towards Covid-19.
  • Reddit is disseminating information through – subreddits and AMAs
  • Apple is giving back in the way of financial donations.
  • Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma has donated 500,000 coronavirus testing kits and 1 million protective face masks to the U.S, Europe, and Africa.
  • Salesforce is giving USD 1 million to the UCSF coronavirus response fund and another USD 500,000 to the CDC emergency response fund.

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Last month, the head of WHO also admonished the perpetrators of misinformation. He said, “While the virus spreads, misinformation makes the job of our heroic health workers even harder. It is diverting the attention of decision-makers. And it causes confusion and spreads fear to the general public. At WHO, we’re not just battling the virus; we’re also battling the trolls and conspiracy theorists that push misinformation and undermine the outbreak response.”

They have formed a four-step procedure to tackle fake Coronavirus information.

These include a dedicated ‘infodemic’ management team that actively tracks misinformation, in multiple languages and sifts facts from fiction, a tab for “myth busters” and Live Q&A interviews with experts on their website and social channels and through the media. Further, they are working together with big techs and social media influencers to spread the right info.

You can keep tabs on Coronavirus information via the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare portal.

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