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Here’s How Facebook, Google And The Kenyan Government Are Curbing Coronavirus Misinformation

Coronavirus COVID-19
Image courtesy Forbes

The deadly coronavirus is spreading quite fast across nations and continents but something else seems to be spreading even faster. Ever since the virus started taking root in the land of China, misinformation about its origin among more is getting everywhere.

It might be even funnier to know that in Kenya where no case has been confirmed yet, panic is looming among people due to the numerous misconceptions about COVID-19 through social media.

But you will be glad to know that most if not all of these platforms are cracking down on the spread of misinformation about the pandemic. “These fake and alarmist rumours have been forwarded to the cybercrime unit and DCI for investigation, arrest and prosecution of the authors and this spreading the same,” government spokesperson, Cyrus Oguna said in a statement last week.

This was mainly after alerts were coming in from everywhere about confirmed cases at the Kenyatta National Hospital and at Mbagathi County Hospital. Apparently, no case has been established yet in the country.

It is criminal to spread such malicious and alarmist statements through social and digital channels.

Anyone found to be a rumourmonger on any site will be attracting legal action that results in a Kes.5 million fine or a two-year prison sentence, or both.

Google and Facebook Also Catching The Bug

On the international level, the major social networks are also taking action against the same. This includes Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram that is reportedly instituting bans on informatively false posts. This is alongside Twitter as well.

Furthermore, Google appears to be deliberately blocking search results for the virus and COVID-19 on both the search engine and Google PlayStore. The same goes for Apple that is currently working on restricting apps related to the virus. Not much has been done on the iOS side currently as the company is reportedly evaluating whether apps that provide information related to the coronavirus can be trusted sources of information for the public.

However, it is still clear that despite all these efforts, offenders are still slipping through the cracks. 

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