YouTube, Facebook and Twitter align to fight Covid vaccine conspiracies

THREE of the largest social networks have said they will join forces with fact-checkers, governments and researchers to try to come up with a new way of tackling misinformation reports the BBC.

Vaccine misinformation has been rife on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, with many questioning their efficacy.

At the same time, countries are preparing to roll out coronavirus vaccines in a bid to end the pandemic.

It is unclear how the initiative will improve the fight against fake news.

Fact-checking charity Full Fact will co-ordinate the collaboration.

Taking part in the effort alongside Facebook, Google-owned YouTube and Twitter are the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport; the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism; Africa Check; Canada’s Privacy Council Office; and five other international fact-checking organisations.

With funding from Facebook, an initial framework will launch in January, setting out new standards for tackling misinformation, as well as a set of aims on the best way to respond to such information.

Full Fact said collaboration and ensuring that people had a good supply of reliable information would be core principles.

Will Moy, chief executive of Full Fact, added: “Bad information ruins lives, and we all have a responsibility to fight it where we see it. The coronavirus pandemic and the wave of false claims that followed demonstrated the need for a collective approach to this problem.”

With a coronavirus vaccine potentially only months away, he said the concern was that “bad information could undermine trust in medicine when it matters most, and ultimately prolong this pandemic”.

Facebook said it welcomed the effort “to discuss and develop new strategies” for tackling misinformation.

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