Google India Announces Steps to Help Combat COVID-19 Misinformation


Google on Monday announced a series of steps taken to bring reliable information related to COVID-19 pandemic in India and combat the spread of misinformation.

Google will now show the latest updates and health advice from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and international health authorities across Google Search, Google Maps, YouTube and the COVID-19 Spot on Google Pay, the official blog notes.

In addition to promoting authentic content, Google will also quickly remove reported videos from YouTube that violate guidelines or intend to spread misinformation related to the pandemic.

The COVID-19 India website will soon get support for other Indian languages.

To assist migrant workers or those stranded in cities without a source of income or food, Google Maps, Search, and Assistant, will highlight nearby locations of food and night shelters set by the government. The information can be accessed both in Hindi and English.

Google is also rolling out the ‘Nearby Spot’ feature on Google Pay to help users locate essential supply stores that are currently open. The tool is accessible in Bengaluru and will be launching soon in Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, and Delhi.

The blog post, penned by Sanjay Gupta, Vice President and Country Manager, Google India and Caesar Sengupta, Vice President, Payments and Next Billion Users, adds, “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the health and lives of many across the country, requiring all of us to make fundamental changes to the way we live. State and public health officials across the country are doing their best to manage this unprecedented situation. At the same time, we have been inspired by how the country has come together to support the valiant efforts of healthcare workers, with businesses stepping up to provide vital resources and support, and NGOs rallying to support vulnerable communities whose livelihoods are impacted.”

“Overcoming a crisis of this scale will take sustained and concerted effort, and we want to do everything we can to help. Since the virus first began to spread, our focus at Google has been on making sure people have the information and tools they need to stay informed and connected. But we know there’s much more work ahead,” the blog post adds.

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