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Coronavirus COVID-19, Technology, and Social Media Responsibility

Coronavirus COVID-19, Technology, and Social Media Responsibility

There’s no denying the coronavirus COVID-19 has caused quite the media storm in the last few weeks.

From schools closing across the country to major events being postponed or canceled, it makes you question how technology and the dissemination of information affect day to day life.

Read on or use the links below to “jump” ahead

What is the Coronavirus COVID-19?

The coronavirus COVID-19 is a respiratory virus that is believed to have originated in bats. What’s unique about coronaviruses is their ability to be spread from both humans and animals.

Coronaviruses are part of a large family of viruses that cause illnesses like the common cold, to more severe diseases like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The virus that’s now causing a global pandemic is a new strain that wasn’t previously known to exist in humans.

We recommend getting information about coronavirus COVID-19 directly from the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) website for the most up-to-date and accurate information.

Keep reading to learn what role technology and social media platforms should play when a pandemic breaks out.

How Modern Technology Helps People Avoid Contracting Coronavirus COVID-19

With all of the technological advances that have been made since the SARS outbreak in 2002, we’re better equipped than ever to handle the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.


If you’re worried about whether you’ve been to an area that’s affected by the outbreak, or you want to avoid areas that are known to be infected, there is a live interactive map where you can keep track of the outbreak activity.

The data is collected from Johns Hopkins and is a live map that always shows the status of the disease.


How Technology Aids Those With Coronavirus COVID-19

When SARS first broke out in late 2002, it took scientists more than a year to sequence the genome of the virus. This time around, the genome of coronavirus COVID-19 was sequenced in less than a month after the first case was identified. This is more than 10 times faster than just 18 years ago.

This meant scientists were able to create a test that would tell us if someone is positive for the virus or not. The advancement in technology also means if you are tested for coronavirus COVID-19, you will get the results back in as soon as one day. This is crucial for containing the virus and preventing people from spreading it further.


The CDC’s website is a true indicator of what our technology has done to ensure people are armed with the most up-to-date information. We’ve spoken about SARS a few times, but think back to 2002 again and what websites looked like then. Think about how we used to look at websites. We didn’t have phones in our pockets with all the internet offers at our disposal. We relied on TV and newspapers to get our information, and that information could be outdated the same day it came out.

Today, the CDC has the capability to update its website multiple times each day, and we have the means to look up information within seconds.


Coronavirus COVID-19 is more contagious than the flu, and the CDC states it spreads between people who are within six feet of each other through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The CDC also states that because the coronavirus COVID-19 is a new disease, they are still learning more about how it spreads. Thankfully, artificial intelligence (AI) is here to help treat us.

If you test positive for coronavirus COVID-19, you are likely to be treated by a robot. The first person in the US to test positive for the virus is being treated mostly by a robot. The robot is used to take his vitals, talk to him, and keep track of his symptoms to see when he will no longer be contagious.

Social Media’s Responsibility

On average, Millenials get their news from more than three social media platforms. The major social media websites Millennials get their news from are Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. We’re going to cover the different ways each platform is responsible for how information is disseminated on their platform.


Over the past few years, Facebook started fact-checking articles in the hopes of reducing the amount of false news that’s disseminated on its platform. When an article is shared, and it’s known to be false news, Facebook will place a notification under the article that when clicked, takes the reader to a fact-checking source with the correct information.

With 88% of Millennials admitting to getting news from Facebook regularly, Facebook has a responsibility to ensure the information about coronavirus COVID-19 is being disseminated accurately. If Facebook allows misinformation to spread, it could lead to people not following instructions set out by the CDC.

However, considering how quickly and how often misinformation is spread, it would be almost impossible for Facebook alone to catch every false article. This is why it’s also important for users to be able to report false articles.


How to Protect Yourself From Mistruths

To prevent yourself from accepting information that’s false as truth, be sure to gather information from multiple sources and report any posts you find on Facebook that are blatantly false.

What Facebook Could Do Better

Facebook should allow businesses to set temporary business hours. Facebook does currently allow businesses to change their hours, but they don’t allow them to save their original hours and set temporary hours.

This is important because if you own a restaurant and you are now opening later or closing early due to staff being sick or regulations in your town or city (some locales are allowing only drive-thru or delivery food service at this time), you need to be able to tell your customers that your hours have changed, while still being able to easily revert to your normal hours once the pandemic subsides.


With YouTube being the second-largest search engine in the world, it makes sense that Millennials claim YouTube as one of their top three sources for news.

How YouTube Has Done

YouTube has a pop-up link to the CDC’s website on its homepage.


Live Streaming with YouTube also helps to discourage people from gathering for events. If there’s a game or special event that has been canceled to the public, it can be streamed on YouTube so people can still enjoy the event. With large numbers of the public self-quarantining or avoiding going out, there’s likely to be a boost in YouTube traffic coming from people looking to be entertained.

How YouTube Can Do Better

The rest of the YouTube homepage dashboard is filled with typical ads and videos. In a pandemic like this, YouTube should have videos detailing proper handwashing techniques and tips for people to help prevent contracting or spreading the virus.


It’s no secret Instagram is owned by Facebook, so it would make sense that it’s also used as one of the top three places Millennials go for information.

How Instagram Has Done

Like Facebook, Instagram is working to remove misinformation related to coronavirus COVID-19. They also have a responsibility to the public and should continue working to get rid of false information.

How Instagram Can Do Better

Instagram is known for enticing people into traveling, and influencers make big bucks by promoting products or travel destinations. Instagram needs to be sure its users aren’t pushing people to travel at a time with so many travel bans.


Google is the number one search engine in the world. Searches for “coronavirus” on Google started occurring during the week of January 12th, 2020, and have since continued to grow.


Due to the number of people searching Google for information on the virus, they have a responsibility to ensure the information provided is accurate and up-to-date.

How Google Has Done

So far, Google has done a good job of informing people about coronavirus COVID-19 and keeping the most recent stories and the CDCs website at the top of the search.

Any search of “COVID-19” or “coronavirus” on Google results in links to the CDC and the World Health Organization.


Google has also made sure to inform businesses on their platform about how to update their business information in order to inform customers of any updates or changes.

How Google Can Do Better

Place a “help and information” link above the news articles. When you first search “coronavirus” there are three links to news articles, and then the help and information link shows up, followed by the interactive map. Google is prioritizing news information above government recommendations, and in a pandemic like this, we should prioritize accurate, public health information.

How to Help My Business

Businesses worried about coronavirus COVID-19 should be sure to follow the recommendations put forth by the CDC. If you have the ability to let employees work from home, do so. It’s better to be safe and keep people healthy than to risk potentially infecting your office.

With so many businesses choosing to let their employees work from home to avoid contracting or spreading the disease, you may find you are in need of extra assistance in marketing your business or products. Contact Jawfish Digital today to learn about the many ways we can help you.