Coronavirus and the importance of real news
Like everyone else on the planet, we’re reeling from the impact COVID-19 has had on our daily lives and trying to figure out how best we can help.
This week we’ve added a curated, dedicated Coronavirus hub to the Thread app that provides an accurate, up-to-the-minute stream of information and articles about the latest developments. We’re also working on more features to help you filter and search by location as well as get the latest numbers from official bodies.
Crises tend to bring out the best and worst in social media. On the one hand, it’s an amazing gift to be able to reach friends and family when seeing them IRL isn’t an option. But social media in times of crisis can also be a breeding ground for misinformation and conspiracy theories, not to mention stress and anxiety.
It’s so easy to contribute to the problem that we often don’t even realize we’re doing it – we see something on the timeline, it’s emotionally engaging, it feels right, so we give it a like or retweet and move on. By the time the truth comes out the impression has already been made on millions of people, only a tiny fraction of whom will eventually see the correct information, and we’ve unwittingly exacerbated the problem with our engagement.
That’s the fundamental flaw with platforms that amplify first and ask questions later. And when the moderators and contract workers tasked with keeping us safe can’t come to work because of a global pandemic, we’re all left completely vulnerable.
Times like this make the importance of high-quality news and information from vetted sources all the more clear. We want to do everything we can to support journalists, publications, and podcasters around the world who are doing amazing, heroic work highlighting the most important stories of this crisis. If you have any suggestions or ideas about other ways we can help, we'd love to hear from you.
Our hearts go out to everyone impacted. Stay safe, be kind, and help each other.