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EU and U.S. technology giants cooperate to combat the epidemic, online rumors, and prevent panic

NetEase Technology News, March 12, according to foreign media reports, the European Union is resuming the alliance it established with US technology companies last year to combat online political disinformation. Now their focus is on combating disinformation about the new crown pneumonia epidemic.

The European Commission has reactivated its rapid alert system co-created with Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Mozilla to ensure that this measure to combat false information related to the epidemic can be quickly shared with the governments of the European Union.

On February 17, 2020, the Vice President of the European Commission Vera Chorova (right) met with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The Vice President of the European Commission, Vera Jourova, who led the work, said in an interview that these technology companies have pledged to remove content deemed harmful to public health, and that they will come from national health authorities on their respective platforms. And the World Health Organization’s information in a prominent position.

“This is a system we created before last year’s European elections.” Qorova said. She met with representatives of American technology companies last week and set about re-implementing the system. The World Health Organization announced on Wednesday that the new crown pneumonia was identified as a “global epidemic”. It also called a large number of misinformation and deliberately fabricated false information related to it an “infodemic”.

These companies said they are actively removing false information related to the epidemic. The topics of this information include the origin, spread, and false treatment methods of the new coronavirus.

In the United States, technology companies also met with White House officials on Wednesday to discuss strengthening coordination and cooperation, jointly taking measures to eradicate misinformation about the epidemic, and improving their information sharing mechanisms with federal agencies.

Qorova pointed out that if various network platforms are found to have insufficient proactive response measures this year, they may face further supervision.

She said that the European Union is already enacting a new regulation called the Digital Services Act, which targets illegal content such as hate speech, child pornography, live mass shootings, and terrorist recruitment materials. “There is only a fine line between hate speech and false information,” Qorova said. “Hate speech has the potential to incite violence, and so can false information, even though it is less blatant.”

The false information about the epidemic spread on social media has triggered racist and xenophobic attacks all over the world. According to the Iranian Ministry of Health, false information has caused 44 deaths in Iran because they mistakenly believed in rumors and drank a drink that is said to kill the new crown virus and mixed with alcohol and bleach.

Chorova said that the Digital Services Act may emulate the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which allows specialized supervisory agencies when companies fail to establish systems or respond quickly to personal data leaks. Intervene.

Recently, videos and information circulating on social media claim that certain drugs can prevent coronavirus and that disinfectant gels can cause cancer. Subsequently, Twitter and Facebook disseminated information citing the French Ministry of Health to refute those rumors.

Twitter also deleted a Dutch account because it incorrectly reported that nine people had died from the new crown virus in a hospital based on anonymous messages. The hospital involved said it was considering prosecuting Twitter users who caused panic among local residents.

Qorova said that conspiracy theories claiming that the new crown virus originated from laboratories in the United States or China have been circulating on social media in many countries. This is another aspect of the information epidemic.

The EU’s fact-checking team EUvsDisinfo found that in the past month, media supported by the Russian government (such as Russia Today and Sputnik) are spreading more conspiracy theories like this one through their foreign language websites and their locations in Spain, Italy, and Iran. , China and the US social media accounts. EUvsDisinfo stated that the spread of false information about the epidemic in these media reached a peak on January 31. At that time, 498 related articles were posted to various social media platforms, and one of Russia Today’s accounts also became the most popular on Twitter. One of the 20 accounts that are followed.

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