Tech industry leaders issue joint statement over COVID-19 coronavirus

  • Tech industry leaders issue joint statement over COVID-19 coronavirus

Tech industry leaders issue joint statement over COVID-19 coronavirus

However, a number of large tech companies issued a joint industry statement this morning about such misinformation. The team consists of Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter, and YouTube. Facebook didn't confirm the involvement with the USA government specifically, but issued an official statement on its news section: "In the coronavirus context, researchers and nonprofits can use the maps, which are built with aggregated and anonymized data that people opt in to share, to understand and help combat the spread of the virus".

The Washington Post newspaper claims that the United States government is in talks with Facebook, Google and other technology companies about the possibility of using smartphone location data to combat the Coronavirus COVIT-19 pandemic. "We invite other companies to join us as we work to keep our communities healthy and safe", the companies said in a joint statement, posted on Facebook's website.

Facebook said this week that it plans to award $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries, in a move aimed to address the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement on Tuesday, Google said it has not shared any "aggregate anonymized location data for this objective as we are still assessing the best way to help".

Facebook said companies will be able use cash to pay rent, cover operational costs or run advertising on Facebook.

The company said that it had removed AR effects related to the virus and would reject requests for filters that claimed to "predict, diagnose, treat, or cure coronavirus". If one believes they may have been exposed to the virus, it is recommended for users to self-quarantine to see if they develop any flu-like symptoms.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg went a step forward, saying if need be, the social networking platform would remove misinformation from politicians, celebrities and even from private groups.

All the companies have also agreed that fighting the spread of misinformation, in isolation, isn't enough.