The mainstream media criticized Big Tech over issues like consumer data privacy, encryption, online disinformation or misinformation campaigns, and free speech. With the coronavirus’s spread, NowThis News analyzed Big Tech’s response to the virus and how it would treat it on its platforms.
NowThis News headlined the story, “Facebook, Other Platforms Fight Back Against Coronavirus Misinformation,” which avoided criticizing Big Tech companies in their responses to the coronavirus.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said it is actively removing coronavirus conspiracy theories on its platform while giving free ads to organizations such as the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and UNICEF. It will also direct users to WHO or local health authorities on their platform.
TikTok said it will also fight against misinformation about the coronavirus as the WHO joined its platform to spread accurate information about the virus and how to prevent infection.
NowThis News, to its credit, did not mention the scandals which plagued Big Tech in recent years, such as TikTok’s ties to the Chinese government and Facebook’s decision not to arbitrate political advertisements on its platform. It focused on the positive benefits coming from Big Tech, which gives Big Tech a brief reprieve from external criticism for the time being.
Big Tech should be commended for fighting coronavirus misinformation, which could spread mass panic and put lives at risk.