Social media platforms are strengthening their monitoring of misinformation on their platforms concerning a recent powerful earthquake that hit central Japan, as the government asks them to take specific measures to prevent such posts from hampering rescue efforts, the communications ministry said Friday.

LY Corp., the operator of the Line messaging app and the portal site Yahoo Japan, and X, formerly known as Twitter, have implemented steps to keep misinformation about the quake that struck the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture on New Year's Day from spreading, according to a panel at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

File photo taken in June 2021 shows the icon of the Line messaging app. (Kyodo)

The panel, tasked with promoting proper posts on social media platforms, will question platform operators about their progress in taking measures against misinformation, including their revenue models that often reward users based on the number of views their content gets.

"Malicious information is unforgivable," Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in a recent X post.

LY has deleted or placed warnings over apparently false information, while X has frozen suspicious accounts asking for emergency financial aid online. Technology giant Google LLC will closely monitor its YouTube platform for a period of time, the ministry said.

Misinformation on social media, including fake requests for help, has hindered rescue operations in the quake-hit region.

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