Now that the coronavirus or COVID-19 is a pandemic, it’s super important to stay updated on news happening in the Philippines and around the world. To help spread verified information, Twitter launched an Event page feature to surface real-time credible and official information from authoritative government agencies, public officials, civil society, and media.
Located at the top of the home timeline on mobiles and under the #Explore tab on desktop, the COVID-19 Event page is now available in the Philippines and other Asia Pacific countries like Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand.
With a critical mass of expert organizations, official government accounts, health professionals, and epidemiologists on Twitter, the platform’s goal is to elevate and amplify authoritative health information as far as possible.
Protecting the Conversation
The power of a uniquely open service during a public health emergency is clear. The speed and borderless nature of Twitter presents an extraordinary opportunity to get the word out and ensure people have access to the latest information from expert sources around the world.
Content that increases the chance that someone contracts or transmits the virus, including:
– Denial of expert guidance
– Encouragement to use fake or ineffective treatments, preventions, and diagnostic techniques
– Misleading content purporting to be from experts or authorities
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) March 18, 2020
To support that mission, Twitter’s global Trust & Safety team is continuing its zero-tolerance approach to platform manipulation and any other attempts to abuse the service at this critical juncture. Twitter now requires people to remove Tweets that include content which increases the chance that someone contracts or transmits the virus, including:
- Denial of expert guidance
- Encouragement to use fake or ineffective treatments, preventions, and diagnostic techniques
- Misleading content purporting to be from experts or authorities
Priority Verification of Health Experts
To #COVID19 experts: we are prioritizing Verification for Twitter accounts that have an email address associated with an authoritative organization or institution. Here’s how to update the email address associated with your account:https://t.co/H4LkQYeGB8
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) March 21, 2020
Twitter is also working with global public health authorities to identify experts and have already Verified hundreds of accounts. Those looking to Verify their Twitter accounts must have an email address associated with an authoritative organization or institution. Twitter is considering a way to take public suggestions, but first is reviewing the suggestions from global public health authorities and partners.
Global Expansion of the COVID-19 Search Prompt
Launched six days before the official designation of the virus in January, Twitter’s dedicated search prompt ensures that when you search for Covid-19 information, you see credible, authoritative content at the top of your search. Twitter is consistently monitoring the conversation to make sure keywords — including common misspellings — also generate the search prompt.
In the Philippines, Twitter has partnered with the Department of Health (@DOHgovph) and WHO Philippines (@WHOPhilippines) for a dedicated search prompt wherein users searching for information about the #coronavirus on the platform will be notified and pointed to DOH’s website and WHO Philippines’ Twitter account.
Twitter’s COVID-19 Search Prompt is available in 66 areas and 27 languages so far and continues to expand as it grows its partnerships with over 60 government agencies around the world as the need arises.
Additional Protections and Partnerships
Based on Twitter’s Inappropriate Content Policy, any attempt by advertisers to opportunistically use the COVID-19 outbreak to target inappropriate ads will be halted. Government entities that want to disseminate public health information will be permitted to promote ads on COVID-19. Twitter has put additional safeguards in place in order to facilitate the sharing of trusted public health information and to reduce potential harm to users. It is currently prohibiting the promotion of all medical masks due to a strong correlation to COVID-19 and instances of inflated prices globally.
As a uniquely open service, Twitter data is being used in research every day and the researchers’ hub is publicly available. It welcomes applications for the use of Twitter data to support research on COVID-19. The platform will also explore further #DataForGood partnerships to assess how data products can enhance academic and NGO understanding of public health emergencies now and into the future.
What can you do?
Looking for advice on how best to use Twitter in a time like this? Follow WHO Philippines (@WHOPhilippines) and the Department of Health (@DOHgovph) — seek out authoritative health information and ignore the noise. If you see something suspicious or abusive, report it immediately. Most importantly, think before you Tweet. Through Twitter Moments, the platform has curated longer-form content that helps tell the full story of what’s happening around COVID-19 globally. For educators and parents, consult the media literacy guide, which was built in partnership with UNESCO (@UNESCO), here.
Twitter is committed to playing its part and will continue to provide substantive updates as this situation evolves. For more, follow Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) and Twitter Public Policy (@Policy).