We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #485
Social platforms announce measures to tackle Covid-19 misinformation
There’s nothing like a global emergency to bring out the worst in fake news and misinformation. With rumours circulating from the absurd to the downright dangerous, here are some of the measures social platforms have announced to tackle this:
- Facebook kicked off a $1 million grant program to help the International Fact-Checking Network boost its capacity during the crisis.
- The social media giant also revealed plans to put a ‘coronavirus information centre’ at the top of News Feeds in some countries to direct users to vetted information.
- WhatsApp announced plans for a hub that will collate factual information.
- Twitter updated its safety policy to prohibit tweets that “could place people at a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19″.
- Twitter will use its blue tick verification to confirm authoritative voices around the subject of the coronavirus.
- YouTube announced the rollout of a dedicated hub on its homepage for information related to the crisis.
Expect to see more of these kinds of measures announced in the coming days, weeks and months. Hopefully, lessons will be learned and social media will emerge from the crisis as a more trustworthy source of information in the long-term.
Facebook earmarks $100 million for small businesses
Facebook has revealed plans of a $100 million grant program to help business impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The cash is earmarked for 30,000 small and midsized businesses in more than 30 countries. Details are still to follow, but Facebook’s site for the project says it’s designed for actions like helping with rent or operational costs. Watch this space to see who qualifies.
Facebook gives away free stuff to assist key people and organisations
Facebook is making its internal comms platform, Workplace, free-of-charge for Government agencies and emergency services for the next 12 months to assist with the coronavirus crisis. The platform has also said that its developer partners will provide free services to health organisations and UN health agencies to they can use Messenger to scale their response to the crisis.
World Health Organization launches WhatsApp chatbot
The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a chatbot on WhatsApp to provide information on the coronavirus pandemic. After texting ‘Hi’ to begin chatting, people will be able to access official information about the virus. The WHO says that information will be updated daily and it’s currently only available in English. Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish are to follow in “coming weeks”.
Snapchat releases mental health platform early
Snapchat is looking to support its users’ mental health during the coronavirus crisis, by announcing the early rollout of its ‘Here For You’ feature. The platform says that Here For You “will show safety resources from local experts when Snapchatters search for certain topics, including those related to anxiety, depression, stress, grief, suicidal thoughts, and bullying.” Here For You has also been expanded to surface mental health resources when users search Snapchat for terms such as “coronavirus” and “COVID-19.”
TikTok teams up with Arnie for free kids’ meals
TikTok is donating $3 million to After-School All-Stars, an organisation founded by Arnold Schwarzenegger. ASAS will use the money to help US families whose children are missing out on meals due to school closures during the pandemic. TikTok also said it will match up to $1 million in employee donations to ASAS.
We must improvise in crisis. After-School All-Stars will be delivering food to the families we serve. Thank you @tiktok for making this possible.
♬ original sound – arnoldschnitzel
World Health Organisation goes live on TikTok
The WHO last week held two live streams on short video platform TikTok. It shared tips on staying safe and preventing the spread of the coronavirus, and answered questions in real-time. Check out the WHO’s TikTok profile here for its latest content.