Google And Apple Fight Against Coronavirus Apps To Prevent Misinformation

The rapid spread of false information in the digital world can result in very negative consequences. Companies have been working hard to prevent this for years. A according to CNBC’s report, Google and Apple are literally fighting against applications related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to prevent false information. Apple removes all apps that aren’t created by trusted sources like healthcare institutions, while Google doesn’t show them on search results pages.

The Coronavirus, emerging from China, continues to spread and threaten the world. According to many sources, there are about 100 thousand cases confirmed so far and unfortunately, the number of deaths is increasing.

The fact that there is no treatment method yet is one of the biggest factors that frightens people, which results in their desire to obtain all the information they can get about the novel coronavirus. And as using mobile phones are one of the easiest ways to get a piece of information about something, these devices also open the door for the spread of misinformation. 

Millions, maybe billions of people are using their mobile devices to follow the news about the coronavirus and to learn how to protect themselves from it. As a result of this, there has been a huge amount of increase in the number of applications developed with the purpose of enlightening people about this pandemic or just to drive traffic to mobile apps and get crazy revenues out of them. But not all the information they provided were correct and mobile users didn’t know which source provided the correct information. 

Someone needed to say ‘Stop’ to this. According to CNBC, Google and Apple did.

According to a CNBC report, Apple and Google have made some radical decisions about Corona virus-related apps on their mobile application platforms. This is because the number of apps that have been recently uploaded to the App Store and Google Play Store, and that provide information about coronavirus, has grown tremendously. Google and Apple, who want to prevent information pollution, have started removing coronavirus apps that are not from health organizations.  

According to CNBC’s report, some app developers have received notifications from Apple about why their Corona virus-related apps were rejected by the App Store. Most of them have received the feedback that “Applications related to Coronavirus must be recognized and official health institutions to be accepted to the platform.”

Among the rejected applications are some apps that used data from reliable sources such as the World Health Organization. This means that the real issue for Apple is not the source of the information contained in the application, but the institution that publishes the application.

According to the report, Google has placed some restrictions on the results pages of the terms “coronavirus” and “COVID-19” in the Google Play Store for the same purpose. The company published a website called “Coronavirus: Stay informed” where it recommends some applications for COVID-19 on this page, is expected to take further action soon.

Shortly, we cannot say that most of the apps related to Coronavirus are in good faith. While these applications inevitably cause information pollution, some of them may even be malicious. However, Google and Apple seem to be better than ever to take action in order to protect users from such apps.

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Written by Sophie Blake

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