Social Media Giants Meet with WHO to Discuss Coronavirus Misinformation

Information is a powerful tool and it can put capital markets in a daze if the message is unclear, particularly when it comes to investing capital. As such, the World Health Organization (WHO) met with the who’s who of social media last week to address misinformation regarding the spread of the coronavirus.

Some of the companies meeting with the WHO include Twitter, Facebook as well as other movers and shakers in the technology sector like Amazon and Google’s parent company Alphabet. According to a CNBC report, the major theme was “how the companies are working down to tamp down the spread of misinformation. WHO’s Andy Pattison, who flew to Silicon Valley for the event, said the “tone is changing,” as Big Tech is now starting to step up to combat fake news about the coronavirus. Pattison said he offered at the meeting to help the companies fact check information they or their users post, rather than relying on third parties.”

When news gets in contact with viewers, it’s typically through the lens of social media. Unfortunately, when you have an unfiltered medium, the message can be far from what the original source is trying to convey.

“Twitter and YouTube and other social media sites are still awash with misinformation,” said WHO’s Andy Pattison.

Some of the solutions include using third-party checkers to help fact-check information that gets disseminated to users. Overall, WHO came away from the meeting with progress in mind.

“The purpose of that was to plant seeds of ideas, and it worked well,” said Pattison. “I encouraged collaboration and innovation. During a crisis, it’s a good time for that.”

Social Media Exposure

Investors looking to get social media exposure can look at funds like the Global X Social Media ETF (NasdaqGM: SOCL). SOCL seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the Solactive Social Media Total Return Index. The index tracks the equity performance of the largest and most liquid companies involved in the social media industry, including companies that provide social networking, file sharing, and other web-based media applications.

For a broad exposure technology play, investors can take advantage of funds like the SPDR S&P Kensho New Economies Composite ETF (NYSEArca: KOMP).

Fund facts:

  • The SPDR S&P Kensho New Economies Composite ETF seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, correspond generally to the total return performance of the S&P Kensho New Economies Composite Index (the “Index”)
  • Seeks to track an index utilizing artificial intelligence and a quantitative weighting methodology to pursue the potential of a new economy fueled by innovative companies disrupting traditional industries by leveraging advancements in exponential processing power, artificial intelligence, robotics, and automation
  • May provide an effective way to pursue long-term growth potential by targeting companies within the sectors driving innovation within the new economy

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