COVID-19 fake news is an infodemic, most tech companies have responded to tackle misinformation, says GlobalData

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is by far the most significant theme to affect the technology industry in 2020. It will put incredible strain on the world economy, which will be effectively halted for three months or more. Many companies will not survive this initial phase. Almost all others will suffer significant drop in revenues, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData published a fully revised report, ‘Tech, Media & Telecom Trends 2020’, to reflect the impact of COVID-19 on 17 separate TMT sectors. Its analysis provides insight into the impact of COVID-19 on leading companies, as well as the impact of COVID-19 across 17 different technology sectors. It discusses the short- and long-term impacts of COVID-19 on each sector, and ranks on a company-by-company basis the individual impact of COVID-19 alongside nine other themes that affect that sector. All sectors will be negatively impacted.

Cyrus Mewawalla, Head of Thematic Research at GlobalData, says: “The use of social media has increased significantly as citizens turn to it for COVID-19 related news. It has also proven to be an important tool for the millions of users around the world that have been quarantined. The use of social media will remain high throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, particularly in areas that are under lockdown, for both social interaction and entertainment.

“However, social media is being used to spread misinformation during the COVID-19 outbreak. The World Health Organization (WHO) has labeled fake news on COVID-19 an infodemic. It has urged tech companies to take tougher action to tackle misinformation, and most have responded. Facebook is in the process of banning coronavirus-related posts that may be harmful, while Google’s Trust and Safety team has been tasked with removing conspiracy theories and misinformation. Also, many social media companies are promoting information from credible sources such as the WHO, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and official government outlets.”