While other events may have started to overshadow the coronavirus pandemic, the virus is still very much a big deal around the globe. Now, in order with a request from the European Union, US tech giants including Google are going to produce regular reports regarding misinformation online about the coronavirus.
Speaking to The Verge, Google, Facebook, and Twitter have all confirmed that they will work in order with the EU’s request. That request asks the tech giants to produce monthly reports with “detailed data” regarding each company’s efforts to combat misinformation and “fake news” regarding COVID-19. These companies have not confirmed when these reports will start or what the first steps will be, though.
The reasoning behind this request, of course, is to stop the spread of misinformation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic through sources such as Google Search and social media. That false information could end up do harm in a number of ways, such as people trying unapproved treatments. Misinformation could also be detrimental to a vaccine given that there are many online who loudly speak out against vaccines. Scientists have said, though, that a vaccine will be vital to “normality.”
Matt Brittin, president of Google EMEA, said regarding the reports:
The global pandemic has shown that more people need more accurate information more than ever. Through our cooperation with Vice-President Jourova and national authorities we know that working together, companies and policymakers can make more difference than working alone. We’re committed to the Code of Practice and to our work together to find new and creative ways to continue the fight against disinformation.
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