NHS to tackle inaccurate information on COVID-19

Healthcare Communications

Following the misleading reports on COVID-19, the health service has asked Google to direct users to verified NHS guidance about symptoms and treatments.

In addition, the health service is working with social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to verify local commissioning groups, hospital trusts and NHS organisation accounts, so the public can distinguish the trusted sources. Furthermore, Facebook and Twitter will direct users to the NHS website if they search for the coronavirus within the platforms.

“The health service has asked Google to direct users to verified NHS guidance about symptoms and treatments.“

In the battle to combat the fake news surrounding coronavirus, a unit will be launched by the Government's Department for Culture Media and Sport to recognise and respond to misleading information circulating to cause harm.

NHSX’s Chief Digital Officer, Tara Donnelly, stated: “One of NHSX’s key missions is to ensure that the public are provided with accurate health information so they can be confident they are following official NHS advice. By making NHS website content free to use for third party organisations, we are ensuring that more people get NHS advice when they search online rather than from one of the many other sources – some with guidance that isn't right for the UK, and some that just aren’t right.”

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS's Chief Executive, stated: “The NHS has already been battling coronavirus fake news, from working to take down false Twitter accounts, to speaking out against misleading treatments being promoted by homeopaths online. It’s right that social-media platforms and search engines take any action so they can help ensure the public are directed to NHS advice first.”

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