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NHS takes action against coronavirus fake news online

13/03/20

UKA Correspondent

NHS England has unveiled a package of measures against coronavirus fake news, working with Google, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to help the public get easy access to accurate NHS information.

They include Google providing easy access to verified NHS guidance when someone searches for coronavirus.

It has been prompted by concerns over the spread of bad advice and misinformation about the virus in the media and online.

One of the measures involves the NHS working with Twitter to suspend a false account posing as a hospital and putting out inaccurate information about the number of coronavirus cases, and publicly condemning homeopaths promoting false treatments.

It is also working with Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to verify or ‘blue tick’ over 800 accounts belonging to NHS organisations including hospital trusts and local commissioning groups.

Knowledge panels

This has been accompanied by the introduction of knowledge panels for Google searches on health conditions, one of covers coronavirus.

Both Twitter and Facebook are directing users to the NHS website if they search for coronavirus.

Simon Stevens

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive said: “The NHS has already been battling coronavirus fake news, from working to take down false Twitter accounts to speaking out against misleading treatments being promoted by homeopaths online.

“It’s right that social media platforms and search engines take any action so they can help ensure the public are directed to NHS advice first.”

Image from nhs.uk, Open Government Licence v3.0

Register: Library & Alerts

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