The spread of COVID-19 has altered the way many tech companies view their roles in the life and business of their customers. Historically many of the large tech social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snap have limited their direct interactions with their clients and have been unwilling to monitor the feeds that customers see.
The spread of the virus has altered how big tech companies are participating in this process. The social media platforms appear to be helping users focus on new information that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) wants people to see. Apple and Google are moving forward with a process that will provide contact tracing. The new actions and policies are welcome changes that could help the world fight the spread of COVID-19.
How Have Tech Companies Changed Their Policy’s During The Coronavirus Period?
The global pandemic has altered the way the big tech companies and social platforms are interacting with consumers. Some of the large tech social media platforms are providing new information via their consumer’s feeds, such as directing them to the CDC website to bring new pertinent information. This type of behavior is a departure from the way the large tech social media platforms generally approach customers feeds. It is unusual to see this type of activity.
Facebook is granting many health groups unlimited access to promote new information. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company would grant unlimited free ad credits to the World Health Organization. Also, Facebook said that it will work to remove any false claims that have been flagged by a global health organization. This appears to be the first time that Facebook is playing the role of big brother, especially after it was lambasted by the US Congress in the wake of the Russian 2016 election attack. Facebook also said that it will remove any ads that are geared toward exploiting the current quarantine situation.
Contact Tracing Is On The Way:
Contact tracing is a process where individuals who test positive for the coronavirus will be able to show authorities where the virus is spreading. It will also be able to help individual detail who they have been in contact with to alert others that the virus has started to spread.
This process in tandem with heavy testing will help avoid a massive breakout of the virus. Individuals should expect to see an uptick in contact tracing following a recent report from the CDC. The agency recommends a system for contact tracing that leaves the door open to an App that in the works from Apple and Google.
The CDC is summarized in what it views as the critical features of contact tracing apps. The recommendations are beneficial to the Apple-Google partnership. Millions of people are expected to download contact tracing apps soon to slow the spread of the coronavirus. This is an important event for Apple and Google. Thousands of public health officials base their recommendations based on CDC guidance. This will be critical in determining what technology to support.
The Bottom Line:
The key takeaway is that technology companies are altering their behavior and have been a net positive for society given their ability to disseminate news, and their potential to provide contact tracing. The policy changes in the social media platform space have been outside the normal comfort zone as the goal is to provide news for the CDC and eliminate theories that could cause harm to public health. As the virus is likely here to stay until a vaccine is created, investors should assume that these policies will likely remain in place until the virus is just a memory.