By Oisin Sweeney • 20 November 2020 • 7:50
Tech Giants are to join forces against vaccine misinformation as the world gets closer to a Covid cure.
Three of the world’s biggest social media platforms are to join forces with fact-checkers and world governments in the fight against online misinformation.
Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are teaming up with the FullFact organisation to create a ‘collective approach’ to the problem of misinformation. Concerns have been raised on the quantity of fake news and data about vaccines and their safety, as governments worldwide prepare to roll out millions of doses in an attempt to end the pandemic.
There are fears that widespread misinformation about vaccines could deter potentially millions from taking them. Conspiracy theories range from hidden adverse side effects to a global shadowy plot designed to microchip the world population led by Bill Gates. The Centre for Countering Digital Hate warns that 95% of misinformation material is not deleted on social networks and has an enormous audience worldwide.
The three main tech giants hope to have an ‘initial framework’ of coordinating their approaches to the problem by early January. Experts warn that this could be too late as many will have been exposed to misinformation just as governments are ready to distribute their vaccines.
‘Bad information ruins lives’ said FullFact, the main organisation liaising with the companies, adding that ‘We all have a responsibility to fight it when we see it.’
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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