The current coronavirus crisis forced technology giants to implement new measures in order to fight disinformation.
Even though companies had previously voiced their inability to prevent the spread of hoaxes due to technical limitations, the pandemic completely refuted these arguments. The change came after the meeting of Michael Kratsios, White House science and technology adviser, with representatives of major technology companies to coordinate efforts to combat misinformation regarding COVID-19.
Why was it the coronavirus that finally forced the technology companies to adopt such measures? For many years, the online space has been overflowing with potentially dangerous health-related misinformation, as well as hoaxes spreading national or ethnic hatred or threatening democratic order. The current crisis has only confirmed the concerns of many experts that the lack of action by companies to combat disinformation was not due to technical limits, but because of an evident unwillingness to take necessary measures.
Coronavirus has partially helped to discover to what extent these companies are truly able to regulate their platforms. For governments and organizations that have long pointed out the lack of efforts by technology giants, COVID-19 is an important impetus in the struggle to regulate misinformation on social networks.
STRATPOL Memos is a project which on a weekly basis provides a short overview of the most important selected moments of Euro-Atlantic security and related areas. Our goal is to provide brief and informative comments with short analysis putting news into a broader context.
Responsible editor Matúš Jevčák.
Author: Adam Sitko
The text has not undergone language revision.