Twitter activates Covid-19 ‘Event page’ feature in PH

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Social media site Twitter 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).

“With a critical mass of expert organizations, official government accounts, health professionals, and epidemiologists on Twitter, our goal is to elevate and amplify authoritative health information as far as possible,” Twitter said.

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. “We have recently expanded our safety rules to include content that could place people at a higher risk of transmitting Covid-19,” it said.

Twitter said it now require people to remove Tweets that include content which increases the chance that someone contracts or transmits the virus, including:

  • Denial of expert guidance.
  • Encouragement to use fake or ineffective treatments, preventions, and diagnostic techniques.
  • Misleading content purporting to be from experts or authorities.

The company said it is also working with global public health authorities to identify experts and have already Verified hundreds of accounts.

“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.

Search Prompt

Launched six days before the official designation of the virus in January, Twitter’s dedicated search prompt ensures that when users search for Covid-19 information, they see credible, authoritative content at the top of their searches.

“Twitter is consistently monitoring the conversation to make sure keywords — including common misspellings — also generate the search prompt,” it said.

In the Philippines, Twitter has partnered with the Department of Health and WHO Philippines for a dedicated search prompt wherein users searching information about the #coronavirus on the platform will be notified and pointed to DOH’s website and WHO Philippines’ Twitter account.

Twitter’s Covid-19 Search Prompt is available in 66 areas and 27 languages so far and continues to expand as it grows partnerships with over 60 government agencies around the world as the need arises.

Also, based on Twitter’s Inappropriate Content Policy, any attempt by advertisers to opportunistically use the Covid-19 outbreak to target inappropriate ads will be halted.

“Government entities that want to disseminate public health information will be permitted to promote ads on Covid-19. In the case of Covid-19, we have put additional safeguards in place in order to facilitate the sharing of trusted public health information and to reduce potential harm to users.

“We are currently prohibiting the promotion of all medical masks due to strong correlation to Covid-19 and instances of inflated prices globally,” it said.

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