The news: YouTube has announced it would provide aid of $5 million in the form of advertisement grants to the Pakistan government. These grants can be used to spread awareness about the covid-19, and protective measures, as Pakistan eases the lockdown.
Letter to PM: Susan Wojcicki, Chief Executive Officer at YouTube, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan, praising the country’s efficient and prompt response to the covid-19 pandemic. She also extended a hand and declared that YouTube will help Pakistan in fighting the current crisis, emphasizing the need for collective efforts to curb its effects. She highlighted that Google and YouTube platforms have been supporting and nurturing Pakistani users and their businesses for a considerable amount of time and will continue to do so. She pointed toward the continued effort of Google and YouTube to contain the spread of coronavirus by helping authorities spread awareness about coronavirus.
Helping authorities: Google also came up with a feature that informs users about the precautionary measures and updates regarding the pandemic. This feature appears on the search engine when users search for coronavirus related keywords and draws its content from the covid-19 portal set up by the government health authority. Both technology platforms also compute the search results in a way that sources from the government authorities are prioritized to discourage misinformation.
Fighting false information: In the letter, Wojcicki said that YouTube will continue to remove videos that present false or distorted information like discouraging patients from seeking medical attention or claiming that harmful substances have health benefits. Using the data from Google Maps, the company has been publishing community mobility reports that, they hope, will be useful for the government authorities and public health officials in Pakistan, as it provides information about the frequency of movement in certain areas. The letter also suggested a collaboration between YouTube and the Pakistani government to establish a “credible and globally consistent digital policy and regulatory framework”.
Services to help citizens: The CEO then specified some services that Google has been offering the citizens of Pakistan to assist them in coping with lockdowns. Services like ‘Grow with Google’ and ‘Teach from Home’ make it easier for workers from various sectors to work from home and manage their businesses, skills, or classrooms remotely. Google also came up with multiple other resources and apps for children and professionals to use during the quarantine period.