RTA calls for greater transparency around COVID-19 misinformation


Thursday, 05 March, 2020


RTA calls for greater transparency around COVID-19 misinformation

Facebook is working to reduce the spread of coronavirus misinformation, allegedly removing false claims and conspiracy theories flagged by global health authorities, directing people to World Health Organization advice and blocking ads professing their products can cure the disease. But Responsible Technology Australia believes this work is not enough.

Concerned about fraudulent posts’ impact and health authorities’ ability to combat them, the organisation is now demanding the Australian Government pressure Facebook into being more transparent about what misinformation is being spread and where.

It echoes the organisation’s message from last month, calling for all social media platforms to publish a “live list of the top 100 viral pieces of information about coronavirus” with “demographic context about where it is being shared and also flag if this content is coming from bad or foreign actors”.

“Our main weapon against COVID-19 is timely, accurate health information. But with fake news spreading on social platforms our health authorities have no idea what kind of headwinds they’re facing,” Responsible Technology Australia Executive Director Chris Cooper said.

“We need [social media platforms] to start being transparent with the public and if they won’t, then we need government to step in and force them to lift the veil,” he said.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/1STunningART

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