Twitter users who search for information on the recent coronavirus epidemic will see dedicated prompts that guide them to “credible, authoritative information,” while halting auto-suggest results that it deems likely to direct users to non-credible content.
The social network said there have been more than 15 million related tweets over the past four weeks.
Jun Chu and Jennifer McDonald, who work on public policy for Twitter in the Asia-Pacific region and the U.S, respectively, said in a blog post that the move is an expansion of the social network’s #KnowTheFacts prompt, which it activated last May to direct people who search for keywords associated with vaccines to credible public health resources.
Twitter now has coronavirus information partnerships in place in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the U.K., the U.S. and Vietnam, and it said it will expand the initiative to more countries as the need arises.
The social network has not uncovered any significant coordinated attempts to spread misinformation related to coronavirus, and Chu and McDonald added, “We will remain vigilant and have invested significantly in our proactive abilities to ensure that trends, search and other common areas of the service are protected from malicious behaviors. As ever, those who engage in these practices will be removed from our service. We do not permit platform manipulation, and we encourage people to think before sharing or engaging in deliberate attempts to undermine the public conversation.”
Twitter’s global public policy team is also continuing to work with experts, nongovernmental organizations and governments to proactively seek ways to integrate the feature with organizations.