The World Health Organization is conducting secret talks with technical giants about coronavirus disinformation
Google, Facebook, Amazon and other technical giants spent a day in secret talks with the World Health Organization to stop the spread of coronavirus disinformation.
Social media companies, including Twitter and YouTube, have already worked on removing messages about the virus that appear to be fake.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has offered to work directly with the companies to check in an attempt to speed up the process.
Messages about the virus that needed to be removed ranged from those who call it a fever disease or made by the government to claim that it can be treated with oregano oil.
Companies at the meeting agreed to collaborate with the WHO on collaboration tools, better content and a call center for people to ask for advice, CNBC reported.
Andy Pattison of the World Health Organization described the “shocking” increase in disinformation about the 2019-nCov virus as an “infodemic.”
He said that sites were “flooded” with misinformation and conspiracy theories, but that major technology companies were acting to combat the problem.
The meeting was organized by the WHO, but was hosted by Facebook on the Menlo Park campus in California, said a spokesperson for the social media company CNBC.
According to an CNBC Amazon, Twilio, Dropbox, Google, Verizon, Salesforce, Twitter, YouTube, Airbnb, Kinsa and Mapbox reports were all present.
Apple, Lyft and Uber were invited but were not present, according to the report.
The WHO has shared information with the companies about the response to the virus and participants have given their own ideas to tackle the outbreak.
In addition to fake news on Google and Facebook, books and products that claimed to cure the disease were shown on Amazon.
Other bizarre hoaxes circulating on social media include the implication that the US government has patented coronavirus.
Fact checkers have discovered that this is not true at all and Silicon Valley technology companies are fighting to prevent such claims from spreading to prevent mass hysteria.
A total of 18 countries, including the US, Australia, Canada and France, have confirmed cases of coronavirus.
The disease has now been confirmed to have infected at least 4,500 people around the world and killed 106 in China since the outbreak a month ago.
Thai Airways employees today are disinfecting an empty aircraft cabin at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok on January 28. Thailand has 14 confirmed coronavirus cases – most outside of China
Cyber security experts warn that some malicious links that appear as innocent articles or videos about the outbreak of the murderous Wuhan virus actually contain code designed to control personal information.
Hackers distribute articles, messages and videos masked as legitimate file formats, such as PDFs or MP4s, to hide their true nature.
If clicked and downloaded to a phone or computer, hackers can access the user’s stored information and can destroy, block or copy data as they please.
When you search for coronavirus on Google, you get a combination of news items, an SOS notification and tweets before the results appear
“The corona virus, which is widely discussed as an important news story, has already been used as bait by cyber criminals,” said Anton Ivanov, Kaspersky’s malware analyst.
“We’ve only seen 10 unique files so far, but because this type of activity is common in popular media topics, we expect this tendency to increase.
“Because people are still worried about their health, we may see more and more malware hidden in fake documents about the spread of the corona virus.”
To prevent the links from being broken, cyber security experts recommend going directly to an official source.
According to Pattison, some companies continue to address the spread of misinformation about the virus than others, but they have not said which.
“The purpose was to plant idea seeds, and it worked well,” Pattison told CNBC. “I encouraged cooperation and innovation. It is a good time for that during a crisis. ”
Twitter has added a prompt to search results about coronavirus to refer users to official government information.
When searching for the term “coronavirus” on Twitter, users receive a link to the Department of Health and Social Care website and the official Twitter account, where official updates are issued
The social media platform said the tool was part of efforts to ensure that the right information reached the seekers and prevent the spread of wrong information.
Facebook has a similar prompt when searching for the disease, and also shows a link to the World Health Organization page prominently in the results.
When you search for the virus on Google, you will receive news stories, tweets, help guides from the WHO and safety tips for the results.
Amazon and Facebook offered to share advertising space or help volunteers stop the spread of misinformation and the companies agreed to meet every few months until the virus was under control.
The virus had an impact on the technology industry, requiring companies to postpone production of new products and the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona – the world’s largest mobile conference – was canceled outright.
Apple has closed stores in mainland China and a number of airlines have canceled flights to the country.
Coronavirus: What we know so far
What is the corona virus?
The virus has been identified as a new type of corona virus. Coronaviruses are a large family of pathogens, most of which cause mild respiratory infections, such as the common cold.
But coronaviruses can also be deadly. SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, is caused by a corona virus and killed hundreds of people in China and Hong Kong in the early 2000s.
Can it kill?
Yes, so far 106 people have died after a positive test for the virus.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms are usually fever, cough and respiratory problems, but some patients have developed pneumonia, a potentially life-threatening infection that causes inflammation of the small air pockets in the lungs. People who carry the new coronavirus may only have mild symptoms, such as a sore throat. Experts fear that they have a cold and are not seeking medical help.
How is it detected?
The genetic sequencing of the virus has been released by scientists in China to the rest of the world to enable other countries to quickly diagnose potential new cases. This helps other countries to respond quickly to disease outbreaks.
To control the virus, airports detect infected people with temperature controls. But as with any virus, it has an incubation period, which means that detection is not always possible because the symptoms have not yet appeared.
How did it start and spread?
The first cases identified were people connected to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan.
Since then, cases have been identified elsewhere that could have spread from person to person.
What do countries do to prevent spread?
Countries in Asia have stepped up airport surveillance. They include Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Australia and the US are also screening patients at high temperatures and the UK has announced that it will screen passengers returning from Wuhan.
Is it similar to something we’ve ever seen before?
Experts compared it to the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003. The epidemic started in South China and killed more than 700 people in mainland China, Hong Kong and elsewhere
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