Twitter launches coronavirus search prompt to fight disinformation

Rappler.com
Twitter launches coronavirus search prompt to fight disinformation
When users search for terms related to the 2019 novel coronavirus, a search prompt suggests looking into accounts of authoritative health sources in concerned countries

MANILA, Philippines – To help fight disinformation in the wake of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, Twitter launched a tool that will direct its users to credible government public health resource that provides critical information about the virus.

Twitter, through its official blog, said Wednesday, January 29, that the tool is part of its efforts to ensure that users get to see credible sources first.

When users search for terms related to 2019-nCoV, a search prompt suggests looking into accounts of authoritative health sources in respective countries.

In the Philippines, Twitter officially partnered with the Department of Health (DOH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) for credible information on the latest 2019-nCoV updates.

Coronavirus search prompt in the Philippines. Screenshot by Rappler

“In addition, we’re halting any auto-suggest results that are likely to direct individuals to non-credible content on Twitter,” said the social media giant.

Partnerships with authoritative health sources are currently in place in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, US, UK and Vietnam. Twitter said it will continue to expand as the need arises.

Since the outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV, false information about the deadly disease has also spread like a virus on a global scale. (READ: LIST: Where to get official, reliable info on novel coronavirus)

Rappler has fact-checked a number of hoaxes that circulated online. Different fact-checking units all over the world have also taken part in the collaborative project initiated by the International Fact-Checking Network, which aims to fight misinformation about the novel disease. (READ: FACT CHECK: Misinformation on novel coronavirus that spreads online). 

On Thursday, January 30, WHO had already declared an international emergency over the 2019 novel coronavirus which originated from China and has caused 212 deaths as of Friday, January 31. – Rappler.com

 

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