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As panic about the coronavirus outbreak spreads seemingly faster than the disease itself, social media companies are taking action against fake news on their platforms. See how social media platforms are moderating content related to the disease in an attempt to control the virality of false, disease-oriented information.

Facebook

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg updated the company’s statement on coronavirus information on March 3, outlining that the company is offering free advertising to the World Health Organization and other health organizations for their coronavirus response efforts. Simultaneously, the company will be removing “false claims and conspiracy theories that have been flagged by leading global health organizations.” Searching for the name of the disease on the platform will provide users with the most recent information regarding the outbreak provided by either local or international health authorities.

Instagram

On Instagram, hashtags which are often used to spread misinformation about the virus will be blocked or restricted. Content shared containing false info about the disease and its spread will be removed.

Like on Facebook, users who conduct coronavirus-related searches will be provided with an “educational pop-up with credible information.” Furthermore, health organizations will be given free ad credits to run informative coronavirus campaigns.

Twitter and YouTube

Searching for coronavirus on Twitter will provide users with a link to the website of relevant health authorities where they can find the latest information about the outbreak. Likewise on YouTube, the first search result is a link to the World Health Organization’s site.

Pinterest

Pinterest has radically limited the search results on coronavirus. In fact, the only pins that pop up are from internationally-recognized health organisations like the WHO. The only results displayed are those that advise people on how to stay healthy and hygienic.

In addition to these initiatives, some of these companies like Twitter are encouraging employees to stay out of the office to reduce the chance of the virus spreading among workers. Though each is trying to minimize panic, each is correspondingly encouraging their platform members to take the threat seriously and keep themselves safe.