Going Viral: Big Tech Cracks Down on False Coronavirus Info


Big Tech and social media companies pledging to fight "fake news" is nothing new, but their latest pledge has nothing to do with political content. A new CNN Business report says Facebook, Twitter and Google are all promising to take down misinformation about the coronavirus, which continues to spread after originating in China. In particular, Facebook pledges to "remove content with false claims or conspiracy theories that have been flagged by leading global health organizations," including claims "related to false cures or prevention methods."

Ensuring timely and accurate information about the spread of a deadly disease is a noble endeavor, but this pledge from Big Tech comes while political fake news and conspiracy theories continue to run rampant on many of their platforms. Amos Waranch, a Dallas-based attorney, says there is a big difference between cracking down on political speech and public health info. "It is appropriate for someone like the CDC to ensure (accuracy)," he tells KTRH. "Because it is actually a violation of the law for a person to provide false statements about things like public health emergencies."

On the other hand, when it comes to political speech, regulating content is much trickier. "The Democratic party sometimes engages in hyperbole, and outfits like MSNBC or even more far-left outfits like Salon sometimes do stretch the truth in a way that is inappropriate," says Waranch. "But that kind of spinning of political news is not a criminal violation."


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