How social media companies are battling coronavirus-related fake news

  • Watch Natalie Gray's explainer video below:

In the age of instant communication, it's very easy for messages and pictures to reach millions of people quickly.

However, in the current crisis, this has led to false coronavirus claims, fake news, and general misinformation surrounding the pandemic to circulate online. This can range from malicious gossip, to scams and hoaxes created by criminals.

The government has been working with social media companies to try and prevent this spread of false news surrounding the virus.

For example, if you are a Facebook user and you comment on or share misinformation, you will now get a notification to tell you. You'll also receive a pop-up alert urging you to go to the World Health Organisation's website if you've read, watched or shared false coronavirus content.

Sites like Twitter and Instagram are also putting procedures in place to make sure people aren't accessing harmful content related to Covid-19.

Bosses at Twitter say they'll take down content that promotes claims that are fake, and Instagram is re-directing people who search for coronavirus information to authorised links.

Youtube has also banned videos that make false claims about the links between Covid-19 and 5G.

Check out this page on the World Health Organisation's website to get more information on the top coronavirus myths and how to avoid them. Here's just a few of the myths they bust:

  • Exposing yourself to the sun or to temperatures higher than 25C degrees DOES NOT prevent the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

  • You can recover from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Catching the new coronavirus DOES NOT mean you will have it for life.

  • The new coronavirus CANNOT be transmitted through mosquito bites.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know