The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has disrupted supply chains and international trade with more than 100 countries closing national borders to curtail the spread of the deadly virus, which has infected more than 2 million globally.
The pandemic has weighed on corporate profit margins and impacted economic growth. Notably, the UN warned that the global economy could shrink up to 1% this year with 22 million people filing for unemployment in the past month in the United States, a reversal from its earlier prediction of 2.5% growth. Moreover, social media companies are witnessing spike in conspiracies related to coronavirus, including misleading or inaccurate claims, false testing methods and fake cures at an alarming rate. This has prompted tech giants like Facebook , Twitter ( TWTR Quick Quote TWTR - Free Report) , Alphabet’s ( GOOGL Quick Quote GOOGL - Free Report) Google, Microsoft ( MSFT Quick Quote MSFT - Free Report) and Apple ( AAPL Quick Quote AAPL - Free Report) to develop tools that are helping people stay connected in a secured way. At a time when fake news about COVID-19 is spreading faster than the virus itself, involvement of social media behemoths in developing information centers while also combating fraud and misinformation could help prevent people from panicking and generate some positivity around their respective brand names. Moreover, the tech companies are promoting authoritative content on their platforms and sharing critical updates in coordination with government healthcare agencies around the world. VIDEO Facebook’s Ongoing Fight Against Coronavirus Fake News Facebook recently announced it will inform users if they liked, reacted to or commented on a post with harmful misinformation about the virus that moderators later removed. Moreover, the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company collaborated with Italy’s Facta, a fact-checking service to analyze content circulated on WhatsApp, including photos, video and audio. Users can send content to Facta via a WhatsApp message to verify its accuracy. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Furthermore, Facebook announced a $100 million contribution to support journalism as part of its general response to the pandemic. It included a Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information Center with content from the World Health Organization, an effort to scrub the News Feed of dangerous misinformation and ban ads that try to sell bogus cures or gouge people trying to buy medical equipment. Recently, the social-media giant added a new Get the Facts feature on the COVID-19 information center of its news feed that will include fact-checked articles from partner organizations that debunk misinformation about the coronavirus. Moreover, WhatsApp has more than 2 billion users worldwide and has been making efforts to stop the spread of fake news related to the pandemic. The platform announced a $1 million grant for IFCN last month to support journalism from the CoronaVirusFacts/ DatosCoronaVirus alliance — a project created by IFCN in January that includes more than 100 fact checkers in 45 countries to fight COVID-19-related fake news and misinformation. Facebook is also supporting fact-checking operations with AFP and other media companies, including Reuters and the Associated Press, under which content rated false is downgraded in news feeds so that fewer people see it. Meanwhile, Facebook-owned Instagram now has health cards that redirect to sources like the World Health Organization or local health authorities. Facebook, Inc. Price and Consensus