Twitter has launched a new tool to help Nigerians find credible information about the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19.
The tool is a dedicated search prompt localised for many regions globally including this West African country.
Announcing in a blog post, the social media network wrote, "We continue to expand our dedicated search prompt feature to ensure that when you come to the service for information about Covid-19, you are met with credible, authoritative content at the top of your search experience."
"We have been consistently monitoring the conversation on the service to make sure keywords — including common misspellings — also generate the search prompt," the post added.
Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has commented on the new development.
In his words, “One of our major priorities at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control is to ensure that we provide Nigerians with reliable and accurate information on infectious diseases including COVID-19. We have developed messages and guidance on how citizens can protect themselves, and publish a daily report on the situation in Nigeria.”
He added, “The use of social media has led to easy dissemination of rumours and misinformation by non-credible sources. Fake news poses a threat to our country's health security because it leads to panic, misinformed decisions, and distrust in our government. We are grateful for the support from Twitter in ensuring that Nigerians are directed to official sources of verified information on COVID-19. It is important that we focus on the facts at this time, and remember that every effort helps in reducing the risk of spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.”
Facebook has also partnered with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to fight fake news about the virus online.
This new tool and partnership should stop the spread of harmful, misinformation and ensure that everyone has access to verified news about the global outbreak.