Misinformation about the coronavirus on social media has started to spread almost as quickly as the disease itself. The epidemic has left a considerable amount of room for confusion and panic in the general public, allowing social media to become more influential than ever. As increasing numbers of people look to voice their concerns on these platforms, the need for transparency regulation increases as well. The recognition of opinions as matters of fact can be detrimental to society when dealing with widespread disease. This is why both Instagram and Twitter have taken matters into their own hands, updating certain rules and regulations to strengthen public knowledge about the coronavirus and how to stay healthy.
Instagram’s Algorithm is Now Aiding Discussion of Coronavirus on Social Media
Whenever one is looking for information on social media, or Instagram in particular, the easiest way to go about it is to search for a hashtag. When the coronavirus first began, with its severity was unapparent to many, thousands of memes about the disease began to trend on the platform. A breeding ground for spreading false information, the media giant knew something had to be done. They decided to guide users towards accurate, updated information by highlighting the World Health Organization’s page as well as links to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website whenever a user clicks on #coronavirus. By employing their algorithm for the benefit of world health, Instagram has demonstrated their willingness to adapt in times of need.
Twitter’s Work to Prevent Discrimination Based on Disease, Disability and Age
Although Twitter began suppressing hate speech on its platform last year, it is conversation regarding the coronavirus on social media specifically that has caused its update on hateful conduct. Within the past week, they have shown further effort to stop discrimination in reference to disease, disability and age specifically. From now on, whenever one reports a tweet regarding these topics, the tweet will be deleted. This will hopefully prevent the continued lack of sensitivity towards those impacted by this very serious disease.
The spreading of misleading information about the coronavirus on social media has given way to important changes in the governance of the digital world. In times of crisis, reliable information is crucial; these changes ensure that information can be found.