Social Media vs. COVID-19 Fake News

Social Media vs. COVID-19 Fake News

Fake “America’s Frontline Doctors” have taken over social media

The social media giants came into attention once again as they are battling with misinformation. If, a couple of months ago, President Trump’s controversial tweets were in the spotlight, now, Breitbart – a right-wing media outlet – is under scrutiny.

The video created by Breitbart shows a group of people in white lab coats holding a press meeting outside the U.S. Supreme Court. People who are calling themselves "America's Frontline Doctors" are giving information about the virus.

The “doctors” touted hydroxychloroquine as the cure for COVID-19 and that there is no need to wear a mask since the remedy is available. Their claims are in opposition to the information provided by the public health officials regarding the spread of the virus.

In June, the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administrations) revoked the emergency use authorization of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine because the drugs are “unlikely to be effective in treating Covid-19.” Also, masks are reliable in helping to reduce the spread of the virus.

President Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., reposted versions of the clip, having the president contradicting himself and his administration, which recommend people to wear masks. The clip has been taken down from both profiles, and the son's account has been disabled for 12 hours.

Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube took down the clip. From Facebook's point of view, the video shared false information about COVID-19 and its cure; Twitter's spokesperson said the clip was violating its misinformation policy. From YouTube's perspective, the clip got removed as it claimed an infallible cure for COVID-19.

The spread of misinformation not only about the virus, but also regarding the upcoming presidential elections, race, protests, and such became an essential problem amongst giant tech and network companies. Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, and Apple face questioning over their business practices on Capitol Hill this week.

Although the three companies did the right thing by removing the clip, the market reacted negatively: Facebook closed lower by 1.45%, while Twitter lost 0.65%.

Sources: cnbc.com, marketwatch.com


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