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Google, Apple crack down on mischievous coronavirus apps

Google, Apple crack down on mischievous coronavirus apps
March 06
12:49 2020

SAN FRANCISCO: Google and Apple have begun taking action on fake mischievous apps to fight new coronavirus-related misinformation on their app stores. Apple is removing all coronavirus-related mobile software not from recognized health organizations or the government, reports CNBC. Google, on the other hand, has stopped throwing results if someone search about coronavirus on its Play Store.

Some of these apps used public data from reliable sources like the World Health Organization (WHO) to create dashboards or live maps. “Some developers asked not to be named to avoid further complications with Apple’s review process,” the report mentioned. On the Apple App Store, the top result for “COVID 19” is a “virus tracker” app from a developer called Healthlynked with WHO figures and maps charting where confirmed cases have been.

Google Play has published a website called “Coronavirus: Stay informed” with suggested apps, including software from the CDC, Red Cross, and Twitter. Some popular Android apps related to the coronavirus are not available for iPhones, said the report.

With claims related to false cures or prevention methods for coronavirus, like drinking bleach cures infections, spreading on social media giants like Facebook and Twitter have started taking proactive measures to fight the spread of harmful content, apart from taking action against those who spread misinformation. Facebook said it is focusing on limiting the spread of misinformation and harmful content about the virus, while also connecting people to helpful information.

Twitter said it has invested significantly in its proactive abilities to ensure trends, search, and other common areas of the service are protected from malicious behaviour.

Twitter said it is also halting any auto-suggest results that are likely to direct individuals to non-credible content on the platform. Facebook said it is closely coordinating with leading health organisations to make it easier for people to connect with accurate information about the situation due to the coronavirus outbreak. IANS

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