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Social Media Giants Issue Statement on Virus Misinformation

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The coronavirus pandemic has prompted social media giants like Facebook (FB - Free Report) , Twitter (TWTR - Free Report) , Alphabet’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Google and Microsoft’s (MSFT - Free Report) LinkedIn to team up in an effort to fight misinformation about the outbreak. Reddit is also a part of this group.

In a joint statement posted on Twitter, the companies have stated that they are committed to help people stay connected, while also combating fraud and misinformation about the outbreak.

Moreover, the companies will promote authoritative content on their platforms and share critical updates in coordination with government healthcare agencies around the world. They have also invited other companies to join their efforts.

Steps Being Taken

The aforementioned companies have already started undertaking measures to ensure the spread of accurate information.

Notably, LinkedIn has published a post containing links to information about finding trustworthy news sources and working remotely. A similar post has been made by Alphabet CEO, Sundar Pichai.

Reddit has also published a blog post that includes discussions of public health experts. The company also stated that it may remove communities that contain misinformation from appearing in search results.

Twitter has updated its strategy for monitoring tweets during the outbreak, which includes reviewing the rules and considering the ways in which it may need to evolve to account for new account behavior.

Further, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg posted a statement detailing the steps the platform will take to respond to the spread of COVID-19 and misinformation about the outbreak. The statement focuses on three areas –– accurate information, preventing the spread of misinformation and providing data for research.

Moreover, Facebook-owned Instagram now has health cards that redirect to sources like the World Health Organization or local health authorities.


Partnership to Improve Brand Positivity

The team-up between these companies comes at a time when social media platforms are being accused of peddling misinformation or selective information, with Facebook having allegedly been used by politicians and political parties to spread misinformation during election campaigns.

At a time when fake news about COVID-19 is spreading faster than the virus itself, the collaboration between these technology companies could help prevent people from panicking and generate some positivity around their respective brand names.

Zacks Rank

While Microsoft currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Twitter, Facebook and Alphabet carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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