WHO, tech companies partner to stop coronavirus misinformation

The World Health Organization has been at the forefront of fighting major disease outbreaks for nearly 70 years, but it now finds itself waging war on a new battlefront — the world wide web. As the organization steps up efforts to combat global disease threats, such as coronavirus, it is also working to combat the rising 'infodemic,' the spread of dangerous misinformation on social networks, according to The New York Times.

WHO officials have asked the world's largest social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, as well as social media influencers for help in stopping the spread of false information about coronavirus.

In the last two weeks, many tech companies have responded by posting links to WHO articles and resources on their platforms. They have also made it harder to find false or misleading information via searches.

They also have worked independently to curb misinformation.

Google launched an "SOS Alert," which directs people searching for information about the coronavirus to WHO resources, including the organization's Twitter account.

Andrew Pattison, who manages digital solutions for the WHO, said he plans to travel to Facebook's California headquarters next week to ask 20 other big tech companies, including Uber and Airbnb, to spread credible advice on safe travel during the epidemic.

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