The false reports have so far made claims about a vaccine, the source of the virus, and patents for the disease. People even develop conspiracy theories to benefit from the panic. Even worse, some are spreading information that is simply racist propaganda and disguised as health warnings.
The World Health Organizationbut the internet storm and general panic in much of the news remain unnecessarily alarming and overwhelming. It is important to understand and to know which information is inaccurate so that it can be reported and not distributed.
Fact checkers from 30 countries are currently working to expose and prevent the spread of further false information on media platforms. Social media platforms such as Facebook also take measures to prevent the dissemination of incorrect information. Facebook has hired three third-party fact-checking organizations to monitor content and trigger warnings that users see when they display incorrect information.
"Several of our third-party fact-checking partners around the world have rated content as incorrect, so we will dramatically reduce its distribution. People who see this content, try to share it, or already have it are warned that they're wrong, "said a Facebook spokesman. "This situation is developing rapidly and we will continue to contact global and regional health organizations to provide support and assistance."
A reporter from Bloomberg Media pointed out that when you search for "Coronavirus" on Twitter on the social media website, visit the United States Centers for Disease Outcome and Prevention Center website for information to get over the disease.
Twitter posted a blog post on Wednesday confirming its intent to stop the spread of misleading information and point people to credible sources. "We have seen over 15 million tweets on the subject in the past four weeks, and this trend is likely to continue," wrote Twitter staff in the statement.
Listed below are some of the trend reports that have surfaced online that have proven to be incorrect.
The Hal Turner radio program incorrectly reports how many people are infected and have died from coronavirus.
Lead Stories, one of Facebook's third-party fact-checkers, debunked a report that named 2.8 million people are infected and 112,000 are dead.is that of China's National Health Commission has reported that 6,000 people are infected and over 130 people have died.
The Daily Mail video of a Chinese woman eating bat soup provides misleading information about the origin of the corona virus.
A video and article from the Daily Mail incorrectly report that the coronavirus may be associated with contaminated bat soup.a particular meat and seafood market in Wuhan (which sells bats and snakes) that could be a common link between the infected, although the first confirmed case could not be linked to this market. Scientists have not confirmed that the disease is certainly from a specific animal, and certainly not from the contaminated soup that is shown in the viral contribution.
Fake racist health alert issued in Australia that urges people to avoid areas populated by Chinese people.
A fake report published in Australia warned people to stay away from areas that are heavily populated by Chinese. The report was distributed by the apparently Ministry of Health of Queensland and confirmed by the state government as false. A similar report, apparently from the Bureau of Diseasology, warned people to stay away from certain Australian train stations and areas that are known to "contain traces of coronary disease". The Bureau of Diseasology does not exist.
Lead Stories discovers a joke that is shared on social media and claims that a student in Ghana developed a vaccine against the corona virus.
We know that there is no vaccine for this virus and there is unlikely to be one for possibly months or years. Because it's a new virus, scientists simply didn't have enough time to develop one. The New7pm.com website is known to media guards and fact-checking groups such as lead stories, which regularly distribute false news and information.
Other extreme conspiracy theories are generated, such as the false claim that Bill Gates is involved in the outbreak and the seriously dangerous suggestion that people should drink bleach to avoid this. It was also claimed that a virology laboratory in Wuhan was responsible for the outbreak, based on a logo similar to that used in Resident Evil, a zombie video game franchise.
How to Identify Legitimate Information Compared to Fake Reports
If you see reports that appear extreme, look suspicious, or come from an unknown source, it is important to take the time to evaluate the information before you do pass them on or buy them. You should also report the information to the appropriate person (e.g. the platform on which you found the post).
Facebook has a resource page for detecting fake news or posts that are posted on the Internet. Tips include taking care to evaluate headlines that look extreme or have exclamation points, look for manipulated data or images that look changed, and try to check the news with several other major news agencies. How to report a post on Facebook.
The News Literacy Project is another helpful resource, as is this guide from Stony Brook University. If you discover news reports or posts that you suspect are fake, it is important to report and not share them.
Another fantastic fact-checking resource is Snopes.com, which provides routine updates to some of the more imaginative claims made so far on the Internet. It's worth checking whether an assertion seems too good to be true.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on January 29 and updated with new statistics on the virus.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider if you have any questions about an illness or health goals.