Tech giants urged to preserve blocked content about COVID-19

Author: Ivana Nikolic, Balkan Insight (Bosnia & Herzegovina), Published on: 8 May 2020

Tech Giants Urged to Preserve Blocked Content About Virus, 22 April 2020

A total of 75 signatories, including Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, have signed a letter asking social media and content-sharing platforms to preserve all data they’ve blocked or removed during the coronavirus pandemic and make it public for researchers and journalists in the future. 

“We understand that many platforms have increased their reliance on automated content moderation during the pandemic, while simultaneously removing misinformation and apparently inaccurate information about COVID-19 at an unprecedented rate,” the letter, published on Wednesday, says. 

However, the signatories argue that this data will be of great importance to researchers, journalists as well as people working in public health. 

“This is also an unprecedented opportunity to study how online information flows ultimately affect health outcomes, and to evaluate the macro- and micro-level consequences of relying on automation to moderate content in a complex and evolving information environment,” the letter reads.

[refers to Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest, Wikimedia, Reddit, Vimeo, Verizon Media, Microsoft]

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Related companies: Facebook Google (part of Alphabet) Microsoft Pinterest Reddit Twitter Verizon