COVID-19 issues are currently the most important thing that the world is focusing on. And of course, thousands maybe millions of people are probably searching the Internet for all the information that they can get their hands or eyes on. Google is now sharing what are their efforts, both internal and external, to help people get information and other digital help while also trying to make decisions to protect their employees in all their global offices. It’s a fine balancing act that the world’s biggest tech company will have to make over the next few months.
Google shares that they have a 24-hour incident response team to keep in sync with the World Health Organization and to help Google leaders make critical decisions about their various offices around the world. We’re probably so used to using their products but we forget that for all of their products to work, there are humans behind it and they are also vulnerable to the virus, especially in countries with widespread COVID-19 cases. Some of their offices are already in work from home mode while some are business as usual.
As for the aforementioned Google products, they have the SOS alert in Search where you can find the latest news, safety tips, and other authoritative information from the World Health Organization. They are also working on adding a COVID-19 panel in the Knowledge Panel for those looking for information about symptoms, prevention, or treatments. The YouTube homepage will direct users to WHO or other authoritative organizations. They are also donating ad inventory to governments and NGOs.
Misinformation is also a huge enemy during these times they are working to remove conspiracy theories, fake news, malware, and other misinformation on their various platforms like Google Ads, YouTube, and Google Play. They are also helping the WHO and government organizations to run PSA ads. They are also donating $25 million worth of ad credits to these organizations if it’s needed to spread the right information.
Since a lot of schools and offices are now working remotely to avoid contact, Google products like Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Classroom, and Hangouts will be in high demand. They are rolling out free access to their Hangouts Meet video-conferencing abilities to all G Suite and G Suite for Education users until July 1, 2020. These are just some of the things that Google is doing to help both their own employees and their users.