Amid the pandemic that is gripping the world, disrupting businesses, and practically stopped life on its tracks, fake news still surfaces. Social network platform Twitter decided to provide people with verified information only from credible sources through an “Event Page.”
Earlier this week, Twitter pooled verified accounts of authoritative government agencies, public officials, civil society and media and lumped it into a COVID-19 page, which is now available in Asia Pacific (APAC) countries including Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand.
With a critical mass of expert organizations, official government accounts, health professionals, and epidemiologists on Twitter, the platform’s goal is to elevate and amplify authoritative health information as far as possible.
Twitter said its global Trust & Safety team is continuing its zero-tolerance approach to platform manipulation and any other attempts to abuse service at this critical juncture. It recently expanded the safety rules to include content that could place people at a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19. It now requires people to remove Tweets that include content which increases the chance that someone contracts or transmits the virus, including:
- Denial of expert guidance.
- Encouragement to use fake or ineffective treatments, preventions, and diagnostic techniques.
- Misleading content purporting to be from experts or authorities.
- Priority verification of health experts
The company is also said to be working with global public health authorities to identify experts and have already verified hundreds of accounts. To #COVID19 experts: Twitter is prioritizing Verification for Twitter accounts that have an email address associated with an authoritative organization or institution.
COVID-19 Search Prompt
Launched six days before the official designation of the virus in January, Twitter’s dedicated search prompt ensures that when users search for COVID-19 information, they see credible, authoritative content at the top of their search. Twitter said it is consistently monitoring the conversation to make sure keywords — including common misspellings — also generate the search prompt.
Twitter’s COVID-19 Search Prompt is available in 66 areas and 27 languages so far and continues to expand as it increases partnerships with over 60 government agencies around the world as the need arises.
Twitter also said it is flagging any attempt by advertisers to opportunistically use the COVID-19 outbreak to target inappropriate ads based on its Inappropriate Content Policy.
Government entities that want to disseminate public health information will be permitted to promote ads on COVID-19. In the case of COVID-19, the company has put additional safeguards in place in order to facilitate the sharing of trusted public health information and to reduce potential harm to users. It is currently prohibiting the promotion of all medical masks due to a strong correlation to COVID-19 and instances of inflated prices globally.
As a uniquely open service, Twitter data is being used in research every day and the researchers’ hub is publicly available. Twitter welcomes applications for the use of Twitter data to support research on COVID-19.