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Twitter app icon. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Agency

Twitter is trying to curb the spread of misinformation about coronavirus on its platform and it has launched a new feature in the MENA region to do so.

The main aim of the launch is to guide people to credible sources when searching for information about COVID-19.

What’s the new feature?

Twitter said that it is continuing to expand its dedicated search prompt feature to ensure that when users come to the platform for information about coronavirus, they are met with credible, authoritative content at the top of their search results.

In each country where Twitter has launched the initiative, it has partnered with the national public health agency or the World Health Organization (WHO) directly.

Currently, the search features are in place with official local partnerships in approximately 50 countries around the world.

The prompt in the MENA region is available in English and Arabic and is implemented in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen.

“With a critical mass of expert organizations, official government accounts, health professionals, and epidemiologists on the service, Twitter’s goal is to elevate and amplify authoritative health information as far as possible,” the social networking platform said.

Twitter representatives also said that it wants people to have access to the latest information from expert sources around the world.

“To support that mission, Twitter’s global Trust & Safety team is continuing its zero tolerance approach to platform manipulation and any other attempts to abuse its service at this critical juncture,” Twitter said.

What can Twitter users do?

As developments regarding coronavirus emerge from around the world, Twitter asked netizens to use the platform to engage with accurate information. 

Twitter recommends that people follow @WHO and their local health ministry. The internet platform also advices users to seek out the authoritative health information and “ignore the noise”.

Suspicious and abusive can be reported to Twitter. “Twitter will continue to provide substantive updates as this situation evolves,” the platform said.