Listen to this story



Social media strategies to support the world in the face of the pandemic

Enrique R
Enrique R
6 min read

The largest networks made their contributions to help humanity in this litmus test, we show you those changes and measures.

Social networks and messaging platforms have become the epicenter of interaction in the 2.0 world. With the arrival of the pandemic and so much dissemination of fakenews against vaccination, about the origin of the virus and other topics of the fantasy conspiracy, these companies have had to apply strategies to help people understand, know and overcome this situation.

From content control to stickers to support measures against COVID-19

The measures that these giants took include actions as simple as the creation of sticker packages, to the control of content to prevent the spread of hoaxes, information manipulated in a malicious way to sabotage efforts that seek to control the spread of the virus in the world.

Social media strategies to support the world in the face of the pandemic

We must appreciate this effort that involved not only a large monetary investment from these companies, they also had their facilities, servers, technology, so that people understood the importance of preserving the measures recommended by the WHO, vaccination and avoiding the dissemination of information not officially confirmed on COVID-19. We started with the contribution of the messaging network with the most users in the world.

WhatsApp supports the world in the face of the pandemic

At a time when the virus claimed more victims and the correct handling of information was vital, as well as taking this information to the last corner in each country, WhatsApp had help lines so that people could contact help centers for free, These lines provided information on care centers, vaccination, as well as advice to avoid getting and spreading the virus to others.

These lines were particularly useful in countries such as India, the United States or Brazil, where the increase in cases and mortality brought the situation to the point of national health disasters, and they coincide in being countries where more users have WhatsApp and also where more fakenews they are managed, that is why this contribution was so important.

WhatsApp stickers to support the world against COVID-19

In addition to the hotlines, WhatsApp designed a sticker pack called "Vaccines for all ", this nice group of stickers is linked to vaccination, some show people in a group dancing (as an example of what should not be done) and others creative designs that have been used by millions, in turn spreading the message of the importance of getting vaccinated.

Beyond stickers and hotlines, there are also measures to prevent the spread of fakenews. If a group spreads false information about the pandemic, vaccination and other aspects of this global health problem, you can report it to the platform and both the user and the group could be sanctioned.

Social media strategies to support the world in the face of the pandemic

Twitter takes steps to protect its employees and prevent fakenews about COVID-19

At the beginning of the pandemic, the call of the world's highest health authority, the WHO, went to large companies to protect their workers, avoid crowds and use remote work as long as possible. But these internal measures were accompanied by actions on the content, such as:

Automated content control: This control allows them to place labels when a tweet is about keywords linked to the pandemic, that way, the person will know that they must verify that information in serious and official sources such as WHO or PAHO.

Manual content control: Due to the abundance of fakenews and conspiracy theories, Twitter began to label as misleading information all content that was aimed at manipulating, spreading unverified information on: the origin or nature of the virus, treatment to combat and control the viruses, official notices from health organizations, the status of the spread of the virus in the world.

Twitter monitors the context of information related to the pandemic

It is a complex but necessary point, information can be real but when presented out of context, it represents a manipulation of the public to stimulate a certain response.

Half-truths, inaccurate information where ambiguity is key to selling a certain message, all this has been regulated and controlled by Twitter to protect people.

The reasons why Twitter exercises this control of information focuses on dangers such as: increasing people's exposure to the virus by presenting it as harmless or unreal, collapsing health systems in several countries, by spreading false information about symptoms or availability of vaccines, attacks on health centers, premises or organizations by fanatics of denial groups.

Social media strategies to support the world in the face of the pandemic

Facebook removes accounts that spread fakenews about COVID-19

The platform is one of the most up-to-date in controlling false or manipulated content, this since long before the pandemic, that is why it was one of the first spaces to control accounts that spread hoaxes about the virus, its spread, origin or other related issues.

Like Twitter, they had to go to the extreme of vetoing the content of tweets by presidents such as Bolsonaro in Brazil or Trump in the US (the first year of the pandemic), for promoting denialism or calling for the use of drugs that are not authorized or verified by the WHO to treat the virus.

We will never know what proportion of the gigantic number of deaths in both countries during the pandemic is due to the spread of fakenews from the leading figure in the country, but we do know that Facebook, Twitter and other networks made an effort to avoid further damage. This led to a global social debate on freedom of expression, in contrast to the risks of spreading fakenews and causing deaths from such important and influential positions.

In the case of Instagram, its operation was very similar to Facebook, both in control of content and in sanctions to irresponsible accounts that spread fakes.

Telegram was the counterpart of the control before the fakenews

The platform has also grown due to the possibility of spreading as many theories people want, there are groups where there is speculation about the most incredible theories that someone can imagine.

It is a space of relief for millions who use it even to organize outposts against antennas (for those theories against 5G technology, although they are demolished before 4G and alike).

Social media strategies to support the world in the face of the pandemic

In defense of Telegram, it must be recognized that its stability in the face of the falls of larger networks and platforms, makes it a great alternative and in the end, it is not a social network but a messaging platform, so how much content is published in groups, will be handled only by the members of the group or those who access it.

It does not seem so sure that humanity will be better after this virus, what is certain is that we will be a little more prepared, both to avoid the damage to manipulation and to stop fakenews in the face of any future event.