Misinformation has been an issue for social media giants for a while now, and as the coronavirus envelops the globe, various tech companies have taken hands to ensure that correct and accurate information is spread on their platforms.
A joint statement, signed by some of the biggest tech companies in the world, was sent out on 16 March. In it, the companies undertake a collective effort to combat the spread of hoaxes and false information surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak.
The statement, signed by, among others, YouTube, Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Microsoft, reads:
“We are working closely together on COVID-19 response efforts. We’re helping millions of people stay connected while also jointly combating fraud and misinformation about the virus, elevating authoritative content on our platforms, and sharing critical updates in coordination with government healthcare agencies around the world. We invite other companies to join us as we work to keep our communities healthy and safe.”
As global concern about the spread of the novel coronavirus grew, so did the spread of rumours and false information, including supposed untested cures, and hoaxes about the virus’s origin.
Where to find coronavirus information, even without mobile data
South Africans can find out more about the coronavirus outbreak by accessing accurate and up-to-date information via the government’s coronavirus website.
To ensure that all the people of Mzansi can access this information, the cloud technology company biNu has made the website accessible to everyone, regardless of whether they have mobile data or not.
As a part of biNu’s #datafree concept, the company has reverse-billing agreements with all the country’s major network providers, meaning that users can now access https://coronavirus.datafree.co/ with any mobile device, even if there is no airtime or data balance on the SIM card.
“At biNu, we wanted to contribute to and support the country in this time of need, so we made #datafree access available to the official SA coronavirus website through our reverse billed data agreements with mobile network operators, which translates to biNu paying the data cost instead of mobile subscribers,” said biNu CEO, Gour Lentell.