YouTube joins Twitter in fight against Covid-19

Online video-sharing platform YouTube has joined the war against Covid-19 through a dedicated “news shelf” on its homepage.

The Google-owned platform in a tweet said, “We want everyone to have access to authoritative content during this trying time, so we’re launching a Covid-19 news shelf on our homepage in 16 countries. We’ll expand to more countries, as well.”

It was not clear which countries are included in this initiative, but the tweet seems to point out that other countries will follow suit.

The tweet also seems to point that YouTube will include a select number of global media organizations as trusted sources of information on the coronavirus pandemic.

The move to create a dedicated section for Covid-19 is widely seen as YouTube’s way to “clear” channels that might be peddling misinformation through the platform. It is also seen to allow YouTube to fend off “fake news” or fake videos purportedly showing information about the novel coronavirus which causes Covid-19.

Earlier, Twitter announced that it has launched an “Event page” feature to produce “real-time credible and official information about Covid-19 from authoritative government agencies, public officials, civil society, and media.”

Located at the top of the home timeline on mobiles and under the #Explore tab on desktop, the Covid-19 Event page is now available in Philippines and other Asia Pacific countries (Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand).

Twitter said its speed and borderless nature presents an extraordinary opportunity to get the word out and ensure people have access to the latest information from expert sources around the world.

To support that mission, Twitter’s global Trust & Safety team is continuing its zero-tolerance approach to platform manipulation and any other attempts to abuse its service at this critical juncture.

Twitter said it now require people to remove tweets that include content which increases the chance that someone contracts or transmits the virus.

“To #Covid19 experts: we are prioritizing Verification for Twitter accounts that have an email address associated with an authoritative organization or institution. We’re also considering a way to take public suggestions, but first are reviewing the suggestions we have from global public health authorities and partners,” it added.

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