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Technology Companies, Health Officials Fight Coronavirus Misinformation

时间:2020-02-06 14:46来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]



05 February 2020

Health officials and technology businesses are attempting to fight misinformation about the new, fast-spreading coronavirus.

Social media has been a major source of false information since the virus was first identified last month in Wuhan, China.

This week, the World Health Organization, or WHO, said that worldwide reporting on the crisis had led to "a massive infodemic." The organization noted1 an explosion of information that has made it difficult for people to find trustworthy sources and dependable guidance.

The misinformation included one claim on Facebook that drinking bleach2 can cure a coronavirus infection. Another report falsely claimed that vaccines3 for the virus had already been manufactured.

Several fact-checking websites – such as Snopes, PolitiFact and FactCheck.org – are investigating the many coronavirus claims and rating them as either true or false.

Facebook said in a statement it was "working to limit the spread of misinformation and harmful content and connecting people to helpful information."

Facebook's head of health, Kang-Xing Jin, explained that the company was searching out information related to the virus and debunking5 false claims. When something is identified as false on Facebook or Instagram, he said, the company takes steps to "limit its spread."

Jin added that Facebook sends messages to its users who already shared or seek to share fact-checked content found to be false. The company is also working with WHO officials to increase the amount of truthful6, official information about the virus.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is Director-General of the WHO. This week, he recognized the anti-misinformation efforts of Facebook and other services including Twitter, Tencent and TikTok.

He also said that the WHO is working with Google "to make sure people searching for information about coronavirus see WHO information at the top of their search results."

Google announced it had activated7 one of its SOS Alerts to help fight misinformation in search requests. The company uses the alert system "to make emergency information more accessible during a natural or human-caused crisis."

The system provides users of Google's search engine with special links to emergency information and the latest reports about the health crisis. The data comes from government sources, health organizations and trusted media.

Google-owned YouTube said it was fighting misinformation by pushing official reports about the virus and trusted news sources to the top of its search results.

On Twitter, people searching for information on the virus are shown a link that reads "Know the facts." The link directs users to the coronavirus website of the United States government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Several users of the social media video service TikTok – which is popular among teenagers – claimed to have the virus and made false statements about it. TikTok has said it is attempting to limit such content. In a statement, the company said its user guidelines "do not permit misinformation that could cause harm to our community or the larger public."

In some cases, medical doctors themselves are using social media services to fight misinformation. Rose Marie Leslie is a doctor at the University of Minnesota. She has shared personal videos on TikTok to debunk4 misinformation and provide actual facts about the coronavirus.

"The thing about TikTok as a platform is any video can go viral whether or not somebody is giving out factual information," she told The Associated Press.

In many cases, Leslie added, people sharing content do not say where it came from. "My goal is to be able to give the facts in every single one of my videos," she said. By the end of last week, Leslie's videos had received more than 3 million views.

Words in This Story

source – n. a person or thing that provides information

bleach – n. a strong chemical used for cleaning or removing color from things

covert8 – adj. done in a secret way

vomit9 – v. to have the food, liquid, etc., that is in your stomach come out through your mouth because you are sick

fact-checking – adj. involving or related to investigating information to confirm facts

content – n. the information or ideas included in a book, film or on the internet

debunk – v. to show evidence that something is not true

accessible – adj. possible to use

platform – n. the type of computer system or smartphone a person is using

view - n. the action when someone plays a video on YouTube


1 noted 5n4zXc     
  • The local hotel is noted for its good table.当地的那家酒店以餐食精美而著称。
  • Jim is noted for arriving late for work.吉姆上班迟到出了名。
2 bleach Rtpz6     
  • These products don't bleach the hair.这些产品不会使头发变白。
  • Did you bleach this tablecloth?你把这块桌布漂白了吗?
3 vaccines c9bb57973a82c1e95c7cd0f4988a1ded     
疫苗,痘苗( vaccine的名词复数 )
  • His team are at the forefront of scientific research into vaccines. 他的小组处于疫苗科研的最前沿。
  • The vaccines were kept cool in refrigerators. 疫苗放在冰箱中冷藏。
4 debunk inMzK     
  • let's debunk some of the most common falsehoods.让我们来揭穿一些最常见的谬误吧。
  • Sequences of maps can also debunk misconceptions.一系列的地图,也有助于厘清错误概念。
5 debunking 2a87ca6663b559d226857656962457c5     
v.揭穿真相,暴露( debunk的现在分词 )
  • The debunking of religion has been too successful. 对于宗教的揭露太成功了。 来自互联网
6 truthful OmpwN     
  • You can count on him for a truthful report of the accident.你放心,他会对事故作出如实的报告的。
  • I don't think you are being entirely truthful.我认为你并没全讲真话。
7 activated c3905c37f4127686d512a7665206852e     
adj. 激活的 动词activate的过去式和过去分词
  • The canister is filled with activated charcoal.蒸气回收罐中充满了活性炭。
8 covert voxz0     
  • We should learn to fight with enemy in an overt and covert way.我们应学会同敌人做公开和隐蔽的斗争。
  • The army carried out covert surveillance of the building for several months.军队对这座建筑物进行了数月的秘密监视。
9 vomit TL9zV     
  • They gave her salty water to make her vomit.他们给她喝盐水好让她吐出来。
  • She was stricken by pain and began to vomit.她感到一阵疼痛,开始呕吐起来。
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