The social network Twitter will promote the messages of the FPS Public Health about the coronavirus on its platform, to combat the spread of fake news about the disease.
The initiative for the collaboration comes from Twitter, according to Jan Eyckmans, the FPS spokesperson. “Twitter has contacted government agencies around the world that deal with public health, because the company is concerned about the large amount of fake news that is appearing on its platform,” said Eyckmans to the Belga press agency. “We are very happy with the support we are getting like this,” he added.
Wij zetten ons dagelijks in om u correct en gedetailleerd nieuws te bezorgen over het #coronavirus. Vanaf nu doen we dat in samenwerking met @Twitter dat onze officiële website in de zoekopdrachten zal promoten. Samen vechten we tegen het verraderlijke virus dat #FakeNews heet pic.twitter.com/Seg9QTkXZ0
— FOD Volksgezondheid (@be_gezondheid) February 7, 2020
Translation of tweet: “We are committed to providing you with accurate and detailed news about the coronavirus on a daily basis. From now on, we do this in cooperation with Twitter which will promote our official website in the searches. Together we fight the treacherous virus called Fake News”
Information about the virus spread by the government agencies will become more important to the Twitter-algorithm, meaning it will be given a more prominent place in people’s news feeds, reports Het Nieuwsblad.
Additionally, anyone who enters the term “coronavirus” in the Twitter search engine in Belgium will also get a message referring them to www.info-coronavirus.be (in Dutch, French and German), the information website set up by the FPS Public Health. Unnecessary posts spreading panic about the coronavirus will be counteracted in this way, Eyckmans hopes.
At 26 patients, of which only one in Belgium, the number of infections in Europe is still relatively low for the time being, he stressed.
The Brussels Times