Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Reddit said they are teaming up to provide accurate information about the coronavirus and the Covid-19 illness it causes.
Below is a joint statement from the companies:
“We are working closely together on COVID-19 response efforts. We’re helping millions of people stay connected while also jointly combating fraud and misinformation about the virus, elevating authoritative content on our platforms, and sharing critical updates in coordination with government healthcare agencies around the world. We invite other companies to join us as we work to keep our communities healthy and safe.”
Microsoft’s LinkedIn and Google’s YouTube also are part of the group.
Facebook and YouTube, earlier pledged to fight misinformation.
AI moderation errors
In related nes, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter warned on Monday that more videos and other content could be erroneously removed for policy violations, as the companies empty offices and rely on automated takedown software during the coronavirus pandemic.
Google said that to reduce the need for people to come into offices, YouTube and other business divisions are temporarily relying more on artificial intelligence and automated tools to find problematic content.
Such software is not always as accurate as humans, which leads to errors, it added, however. And “turnaround times for appeals against these decisions may be slower,” it said.
Facebook said it would work with contract vendors this week to send home all content reviewers home indefinitely, with pay.
Facebook also said the decision to rely more on automated tools, which learn to identify offensive material by analyzing digital clues for aspects common to previous takedowns, has limitations.
“We may see some longer response times and make more mistakes as a result,” it said.
Twitter said it too would step up use of similar automation, but would not ban users based solely on automated enforcement, because of accuracy concerns.