The creator of the Telegram messenger and the VKontakte social network Pavel Durov considers it ineffective to block inaccurate information about COVID.
According to Durov, such actions only undermine the confidence of users, RIA Novosti quoted him as saying. As an example, he noted the events of the past year. Then the idea of the emergence of coronavirus in the Wuhan laboratory was recognized as disinformation, conspiracy theory. Such messages were mercilessly blocked by almost all social networks – Twitter, Facebook and others. Now this theory is not only not considered fantastic, but has become the main scientific concept. The founder of Telegram writes:
Such incidents make combating false reports and misinformation particularly challenging. They can also significantly undermine people’s confidence in the impartiality of social media and jeopardize future efforts to combat disinformation.
Durov draws attention to the fact that Telegram never blocked fake messages, “because they did not think that … the task (of social networks) is to decide for users what to believe in.” But last year he launched an initiative, thanks to which users of all countries can obtain official information about the coronavirus from sources in their countries. Summing up, Durov says:
In my 20 years of running discussion platforms, I’ve noticed that conspiracy theories only get amplified every time their content is removed by moderators. … This is why spreading the truth will always be a more effective strategy than using censorship.