In a first for a major console maker, Xbox has taken steps to promote COVID-19 vaccination and combat disinformation online.
Microsoft’s console maker and publisher took to its social channels today to amplify messaging from the CDC on the safety and efficacy of vaccines that target the coronavirus. Joshua Gray, representing Xbox, spoke with the Deputy Director of the CDC Dr. Jay Butler and the President of the CDC Foundation Dr. Judy Monroe. The two experts talked through common questions and misconceptions about vaccines, transmission, and viral variants, and posted links to resources in chat.
Aside from some technical difficulties, the hour-long conversation went smoothly.
The official Xbox Twitter account further distributed information to followers, providing links to CDC resources and passing on the advice of experts: Wear a mask, wash your hands, get fully vaccinated.
Xbox also took the time to combat some prominent rumors around the COVID-19 vaccination, stressing that vaccines “don’t contain microchips or magnets,” do not “alter your DNA,” and cannot “give you COVID-19.”
While some Twitter users complained about Xbox’s tweets, Microsoft’s gaming division has nonetheless seen widespread support on social media. Xbox’s thread summarizing the livestream has gone viral on Twitter, with over 200 retweets and 1,700 likes.
The only previous mention of vaccines or COVID on the brand’s Twitter platform was a collaboration announcement with the Boys & Girls Club of America in June. PlayStation and Nintendo of America have not addressed COVID-19 disinformation on Twitter as of yet.