How Google is responding to the Coronavirus disease
In response to the COVID-19 concerns all over the world, Google is doing its part to help provide information to everyone. Google has launched an SOS alert search, an information panel on YouTube, doubled down on removing misinformative content and has rolled out free access to Hangouts Meet.
Through the SOS Alert on Search, users can find the latest developments regarding COVID-19 from authoritative sources. People will also be able to see a carousel with top stories, links to helpful information, as well as safety tips from notable authoritative sources.
On YouTube, the Information Panel about the virus will direct users to the World Health Organization (WHO) or other locally relevant authoritative organizations. The panel can also appear under videos about the coronavirus that a user is watching.
To combat misinformation about COVID-19, Google has also taken necessary measures such as:
- Removing content on YouTube that claims to prevent the coronavirus instead of seeking medical treatment
- Blocking all ads on Google Ads that capitalize on the coronavirus
- Run PSA ads from WHO and government organizations
- Prohibit developers on Google Play from capitalizing on sensitive events and prohibit apps that feature medical or health-related content or functionalities that are misleading or potentially harmful.
Google has also rolled out free access to its advanced Hangouts Meet to all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers globally, including the country’s Department of Education. This comes as a response for employees, educators, and students who work and study remotely to limit the spread of the virus.
Additionally, Google’s DeepMind has released structure predictions of several proteins associated with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus. The structure predictions have not yet been experimentally verified but with their release, Google is hoping it can contribute to the scientific community’s work in further understanding the virus.