Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is the first epidemic in human history where information technology and social media are being used on a massive scale to help cope with the disease. In early February 2020, a number of social media platforms and big tech companies, including Google, Amazon, YouTube and Twitter, attended a meeting hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) at Facebook’s offices to unite efforts against rumours, myths and misinformation related to COVID-19. After the meeting, Google triggered an SOS Alert system that makes WHO coronavirus resources more easily accessible when “COVID-19” or “coronavirus” is searched for using Google. YouTube added a banner redirecting users to the WHO web portal on all videos that discuss COVID-19. Facebook encouraged users to look at the WHO website for the latest information through the first results while searching. In addition, Facebook launched a “Community Help” feature where people could volunteer to run errands for others or donate to fundraisers. Facebook made another step by banning ads and listings for medical-grade face masks and giving WHO unlimited free ad space.
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