Social media giants tackle coronavirus myths


YouTube, Twitter and Facebook are battling an influx of misinformation surrounding the coronavirus outbreak on their social media platforms, reports The Washington Post.

Facebook partners with third-party fact-checking groups, which discovered an abundance of inaccurate coronavirus information shared by users or posted in private groups. One such post, which falsely claims oregano oil can treat coronavirus, had been shared at least 2,000 times as of Jan. 27. Facebook told the Post it is labeling these posts as inaccurate and deprioritizing their rank in users' feeds.

Some of the Facebook posts link to YouTube videos containing inaccurate information about the virus. YouTube spokesperson Farshad Shadloo declined to comment on specific actions the company is taking on the coronavirus videos, but said YouTube is "investing heavily to raise authoritative content on our site and reduce the spread of misinformation," according to The Post. The platform's algorithm is designed to prioritize more credible sources in search results, Mr. Shadloo added.

Twitter users are also sharing unsubstantiated claims about coronavirus, prompting the tech giant to steer Americans searching for related content toward CDC materials. The company also expanded a feature in the Asia-Pacific region that directs users to "authoritative health information" when searching for coronavirus-related hashtags, Twitter spokesperson Katie Rosborough told the Post.

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