As the coronavirus spread around the world, US social networks started introducing “coronavirus misinformation” policies that censored discussion of the topic from independent creators and amplified mainstream media coverage.
Many of these Big Tech platforms have also aggressively directed users to the World Health Organization (WHO) – an organization which infamously tweeted that there was “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus” and went from advising healthy people to avoid masks to advising people to wear masks in public.
Now Chinese social media app TikTok has announced that it has deleted more than 29,000 coronavirus videos in Europe for breaking its rules with 3,000 of these videos being removed for misinformation.
Additionally, TikTok wrote that it has given the WHO more than 52 million impressions in its five main European markets (UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain) via an in-app information page.
Related: ? How the term “misinformation” has been weaponized as an online censorship tool amid the coronavirus pandemic
TikTok's announcement comes as politicians and health organizations are placing increased pressure on social media platforms to crack down on what they deem to be misinformation.
Senator Mazie Hirono has suggested that Big Tech platforms should lose their Section 230 immunity if they don't scrub misinformation from private groups.
And the United Nations has launched a campaign to discourage people from sharing misinformation and called for there to be “no misinformation on social media platforms.”
Companies providing artificial intelligence (AI) based misinformation detection solutions such as the UK-based startup Logically are also securing multi-million dollar investments and signing contracts with social media companies.