Twitter is stepping up its internal and external efforts to build partnerships, protect the public conversation, help people find authoritative health information, raise relief funds, and contribute pro bono advertising support to ensure people are getting the right message, from the right source.
With a critical mass of expert organizations, official government accounts, health professionals, and epidemiologists on the service, Twitter’s goal is to elevate and amplify authoritative health information as far as possible.
Global expansion of the Covid-19 search prompt
Launched six days before the official designation of the virus in January, Twitter continues to expand its dedicated search prompt feature to ensure that when people come to the service for information about Covid-19, they are met with credible, authoritative content at the top of their search experience. Twitter has been consistently monitoring the conversation on the service to make sure keywords — including common misspellings — also generate the search prompt.
In each country where Twitter has launched the initiative, it has partnered with the national public health agency or the World Health Organization (@WHO) directly. The proactive search prompt is in place with official local partnerships in approximately 50 countries around the world, with countries in the Middle East and North Africa, going live today.
The prompt in the MENA region is available in English and Arabic and includes the following countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen.
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.
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 its service at this critical juncture. At present, it stated that it’s not seeing significant coordinated platform manipulation efforts around these issues, but it will remain absolutely vigilant and has invested substantially in its proactive abilities to ensure trends, search, and other common areas of the service are protected from malicious behaviors. As ever, it also welcomes constructive and open information sharing from governments and academics to further its work in these areas.
Twitter’s Global Public Policy team has open lines of communication with relevant multinational stakeholders, including the World Health Organization, numerous global government and public health organizations, and relevant officials around the world, to ensure they can troubleshoot account issues, get their experts verified, and seek strategic counsel as they use the power of Twitter to mitigate harm.
What can you do?
People can follow @WHO and their local health ministry — seek out the authoritative health information and ignore the noise. If they see something suspicious or abusive, they can report it to Twitter immediately. And most importantly, think before they Tweet.