Jun 4, 2020

Social media firms fail to act on Covid-19 fake news

"Social media giants have claimed many times that they are taking Covid-related misinformation seriously, but this new research shows that even when they are handed the posts promoting misinformation, they fail to take action." Rosanne Palmer-White, director of youth action group Restless Development, which also took part in the survey, said young people were "Doing their bit to stop the spread of misinformation" but social media firms were "Letting them down". For the study, ten volunteers from the UK, Ireland and Romania searched social media for misinformation from the end of April to the end of May. They found posts suggesting sufferers can get rid of coronavirus by drinking aspirin dissolved in hot water or by taking zinc and vitamin C and D supplements,. All eyes have been on how social media sites have tackled misleading information on their platforms in recent weeks - and all eyes will be on them again today, as they're grilled by MPs. Over the course of the pandemic, different social media companies have made a number of changes to their policies to try to tackle harmful and misleading information. As misinformation about protests and other news events floods social media, it becomes apparent that the pandemic is just one of many battles against misinformation to be fought.

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