The dissemination of false information about COVID-19 has not favored the current context of the pandemic. But what is the real dimension of this problem? The data released by the European Commission (EC), from a document of 29 April, help to understand part of the issue. Last month, the EC was identifying, on average, more than 2,700 articles on COVID-19, which did not correspond to reality, shared on social networks.
In this context of misinformation, the EC warns that false warnings such as "useless to wash your hands or COVID-19 just a danger to the elderly can put" lives at risk ". For this reason, the European Union has launched several initiatives to combat this worrying reality.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube: How are you working with Europe?
According to the EC, online platforms are registering millions of false or misleading publications, which shows that "there is a very large growth potential for misinformation". Still, there have been several responses from social networks.
Depending on the Commission's information, since the beginning of the outbreak of the new coronavirus, Twitter has seen a 45% increase in the use of "Twitter Moments". This guide contains content chosen by the platform and which allows you to monitor the pandemic.
In the case of Facebook and Instagram, social networks directed more than 2 bilies of people to the platforms of health authorities, including the World Health Organization. It should be remembered, for example, that Instagram has launched a set of various measures to combat misinformation, namely through the promotion of credible content on the social network.
Youtube is also helping to combat this public health crisis. The platform analyzed more than 100,000 videos with misinformation or misleading content and removed more than 15,000 of them.
This Tuesday the Commission also released the results of the report on the "Code of Practice" on disinformation in Europe, launched in 2018. According to the EC, the document confirms that the strategy had a "positive impact" in the fight against online misinformation, but there is still a lot to be done.
Among the various social media strategies to promote digital literacy, the report highlights the Facebook project in Portugal GeraZo. The platform was launched in late 2019 and provides online resources with a very clear objective: to promote safe behaviors on the Internet, especially on Facebook and Instagram.