There’s widespread panic over the effects of the coronavirus worldwide and large numbers of the population have been told to self-quarantine and social distance from each other, here in the U.S, in our native country Brazil, etc.
That all sounds a bit tough; fortunately the internet is there to spread some joy and cheer. According to data from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, the #coronavirus hashtag has been used more than 20 billion times. Fortunately, many of those users were to spread the funny.
This post on Twitter “They are social distancing!” reachs over 500.000 views in few days. Taylor Swift, The “Lover” singer, is taking notes from her cat, Meredith, who sees “self quarantining” as “a way of life” and asked us all to “be like Meredith.
By the other side is good to know that tech/social companies started removing misinformation about the coronavirus outbreak from its platforms since the first week of February (2020). Facebook Head of Health Kang-Xing Jin for example said that they will remove content with false claims or conspiracy theories that have been flagged by leading global health organizations and local health authorities that could cause harm to people who believe them.
“This includes claims related to false cures or prevention methods – like drinking bleach cures the coronavirus or claims that create confusion about health resources that are available,” Jin said. He added that Instagram would also ban or restrict hashtags and conduct “proactive sweeps” to remove content spreading misinformation about the virus.
Google and Twitter also taking steps to tackle misinformation about it. Google for instance has started displaying information from the WHO about the virus in search results while its video-sharing platform YouTube is promoting videos on it from credible sources.