Public Knowledge Presents:

How Are Platforms Responding to This Pandemic?

What Platforms Are Doing to Tackle Rampant Misinformation
During Our 'Infodemic'

By: Lisa Macpherson
Last updated: May 27, 2020
Photo by Brian McGowan on Unsplash

Given the enormous role they now play in distributing news and information, it is important that the major technology platforms help consumers navigate between fact and fiction, between helpful and harmful information distributed on the internet. Are they doing their part to help us work through the difficulties engendered by the Coronavirus crisis? Are they setting a new standard of corporate behavior to prevent the dangerous flow of disinformation, or falling down on the job? And what should our expectations be after the pandemic is over?

Public Knowledge is tracking public information about the platforms’ approaches, as well as analysis and commentary about them, to answer these questions. Our goal is to help inform policy perspectives about the digital platforms and their approaches to countering misinformation.[1]

Here’s what you’ll find in the site:

Overview: provides a general view of the scale of the infodemic.

Dangers of the Infodemic: describes the harms and types of misinformation we address.

Latest Commentary: highlights new analysis and policy development in the past week.

Case Studies: comprehensive summary of what platform companies have communicated specifically in response to the coronavirus; see the latest dated entries for the most recent news on how the platforms are responding to misinformation.

Lisa Macpherson


Lisa Macpherson
Senior Policy Fellow

Acknowledgments & Research Sources

This report is prepared using publicly available sources and we use every effort, including automated citation, to ensure proper credits. Thank you to Kathleen Burke, Extern and my research and writing partner; Meredith Whipple, Digital Outreach Director; and Shiva Stella, Communications Director for their invaluable expertise and partnership.

  1. Many frameworks define disinformation as knowingly false content meant to deceive. Given the difficulty of assessing the intent of information sharing for CV-19, we follow the Reuters Institute practice and use the term misinformation throughout this report to refer broadly to any type of false information – including disinformation - except when other terms are used in direct quotes or footnotes.

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