An army of at least 48 fact-checking organizations from 30 countries began working in early March to debunk false information about the 2019 novel coronavirus. The collaborative project, coordinated by the International Fact-Checking Network, will be active for as long as the disease spreads worldwide and can be followed on social media channels through two hashtags, #CoronaVirusFacts and #DatosCoronaVirus.[1]

All of the digital platforms established dedicated websites, hashtags, and handles to communicate their response and actions in regard to the COVID-19 crisis (you'll find many marked in footnotes), and all of the platforms formed partnerships with the WHO, CDC or other health organizations as sources of current, accurate content. As you’ll see, these partnerships became perhaps the most important enabler of the platforms’ efforts.

One of the most notable elements in the platforms’ response is greater use of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning systems for content moderation, due to the need to allow social distancing for their employees and contractors. Twitter[2], Google[3] and Facebook[4] all issued communications noting that greater reliance on AI and machine learning systems would result in mistakes, especially “false positives” (legitimate content being removed or blocked from being shared as posts or comments).[5]

The Coronavirus Misinformation Tracking Center hosted by NewsGuard found 187 (as of early June, up from 132, then 141) sites — 82% of which NewsGuard had identified as unreliable prior to the coronavirus outbreak — that are publishing false claims about the coronavirus.[6] NewsGuard provides credibility ratings and detailed “Nutrition Labels” for thousands of news and information websites. You can read detailed reviews of each website tracked by NewsGuard for more information.

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