Hundreds of posts spreading misinformation about Covid-19 are being left online despite the “dangerous” material being reported to social media giants.
A group of young volunteers scoured social media for coronavirus misinformation between April 20 and May 26 but, after reporting 649 posts that experts believe contravene the platforms’ own standards, fewer than one in 10 were acted upon.
The findings are likely to be a talking point when social media bosses, including from Twitterand Facebook, face questioning by MPs on the Commons digital, culture, media and sport sub-committee on Thursday.
Labour said the report exposed the “pitiful steps” social media companies were taking to tackle falsehoods about coronavirus on its websites.
The Will To Act report, a combined effort published on Thursday by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) and youth action group Restless Development, found that 90.6% of the misinformation reported remained visible online afterwards without any warnings attached.
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Social media giants are shirking their responsibility to stop dangerous misinformation spreading
Imran Ahmed, Center for Countering Digital Hate
Of the 60-plus posts where action was taken, at least 40 were removed, six were flagged as false information and 12 reports led to accounts being closed down.
The misinformation flagged up by the 10 volunteers – hailing from the UK, Ireland and Romania – included examples of conspiracy theories being promoted about 5G mobile technology masts causing Covid-19.
Others were spreading false cures, including that sufferers can get rid of coronavirus by drinking aspirin dissolved in hot water with honey or by taking zinc and vitamin C and D supplements.
Read more: Prats at ITV quoting ‘report’ from increasingly discredited Labour Party dominated Digital Hate Group to press for censorship of ‘virus’ information that questions the official story. They call themselves ‘journalists’, by the way. I know – hysterical