Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is the first epidemic in human history where information technology and social media are being used on a massive scale to help cope with the disease. In early February 2020, a number of social media platforms and big tech companies, including Google, Amazon, YouTube and Twitter, attended a meeting hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) at Facebook’s offices to unite efforts against rumours, myths and misinformation related to COVID-19. After the meeting, Google triggered an SOS Alert system that makes WHO coronavirus resources more easily accessible when “COVID-19” or “coronavirus” is searched for using Google. YouTube added a banner redirecting users to the WHO web portal on all videos that discuss COVID-19. Facebook encouraged users to look at the WHO website for the latest information through the first results while searching. In addition, Facebook launched a “Community Help” feature where people could volunteer to run errands for others or donate to fundraisers. Facebook made another step by banning ads and listings for medical-grade face masks and giving WHO unlimited free ad space.
The information is prepared by the team of the COMPACT project.
COMPACT is a Coordination and Support Action funded European Commission under framework Horizon 2020.
The objective of the COMPACT project is to increase awareness (including scientific, political, cultural, legal, economic and technical areas) of the latest technological discoveries among key stakeholders in the context of social media and convergence. The project will offer analyses and road maps of related initiatives. In addition, extensive research on policies and regulatory frameworks in media and content will be developed.
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