Fake news and the coronavirus

Arya S., journalist

The world has been crippled due to the coronavirus. With approximately 2.6 million cases and 180,000 deaths, social media has been even more chaotic than usual.

Panic leads to speculation, which results in the spread of more misinformation on many social media sites. Guy Berger, the director for policies and strategies regarding communication for UNESCO said in a public statement “there seems to be barely an area left untouched by disinformation in relation to the COVID-19 crisis, ranging from the origin of the coronavirus, through to unproven prevention and ‘cures’, and encompassing responses by governments, companies, celebrities and others.”  Whatsapp, a popular text messaging service boasting about two million users has a surplus of fake messages being forwarded on about the virus.

One such message forwarded on Whatsapp gives faulty and unproven medical advice.

While such information like that shared in the above image could be true, it has not been proved by any health ministry or by the WHO. Though this message might seem somewhat logical, there are other messages which make no scientific sense whatsoever.

According to the Los Angeles Times, a rumor that silver is the cure to coronavirus has been spread around the internet. In order to disprove this, scientists had to demonstrate that exposure to silver could be toxic, and could not help with the coronavirus.  

Coronavirus has had a major impact on our lives and it is important that we stay united and make sure we do our part in our community. We must #stayhomestaysafe and work stop the spread of misinformation.

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