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Facebook and Google “tighten up” on false information about coronavirus

The coronavirus outbreak that started in the city of Wuhan, China, is worrying the world. The virus, which has killed more than a hundred people and has now spread to almost 20 countries, has been the reason for some containment decisions, especially after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the state of emergency a public health a January 30.

After tech companies like Apple, Amazon and Microsoft limited their collaborators' travel to China, with the exception of visits that are critical to their business, Facebook and Google decided to tighten their grip on false information about the coronavirus .

Google launched an SOS alert on its search engine. Each time a user searches for information about the coronavirus, they will be presented with updated official WHO data.

The company's global network of fact-checkers, led by Mark Zuckerberg, will strengthen its operations by identifying and reviewing content that is not true of the viral outbreak. The platform explains in a post on his blog that when false information appears, its dissemination is limited both on Facebook and Instagram. Notifications will also be sent to people who have already shared or tried to send such content.

Facebook also indicates that it will remove content that discourages treatments or taking appropriate action, including publications about false cures and prevention methods, confusing information about available resources and hashtags with wrong data. The social network says it is cooperating with health organizations to help the public to be properly informed.