Fake news in Coronavirus
Times of crisis are always a great times for fake news and propaganda and the more ridiculous the claims it seems, the more attraction they gain on social media. Tips like drinking alcohol to kill the viruses, as tempting as it may seem for some it is not. Or religious claims that corona was a punishment of god. As the diseases continuous to spread, the fake news are going viral too and platforms like facebook, instagram and twitter are breading grounds for the spread of fake news.
- A picture of a man jumping off a building has gone viral. According to social media users, a young boy in Italy committed suicide after all his family members died due to coronavirus. Hindi text, “News from Italy made the whole world cry. After a young boy’s whole family died due to coronavirus the boy jumped off a building and committed suicide«. But this picture is actually from December 24, 2019 picturing a women commiting suecide by jumping from the roof of Hotel Valencia Center in Spain.
2. A Facebook user posted the viral image with a Hindi text, “People are taking corona lightly but there aren’t people who can get up in Italy.
This photo does not show dead bodies on the street it is actually an art installation in Germany in remembers of the Katzbach Nazi concentration camp.
3. Photo of multiple coffins went viral on facebook page “Italy’s condition is very bad. If you use work as an excuse and unnecessarily step out of your house, keep this scenario in your mind ”
But it was found that the coffins are of African migrants who were killed in a shipwreck near Lampedusa, Italy on October 3, 2013.
Also we can come across different alternative solutions people are trying against COVID-19. The weirdest claim I have seen is that if you take some orange peels and you boild them and you inhale the steam you can cure the corona virus.
We know that is not true because your internal body temperature never really changes, all you end up doing is burning orange peels.
I am asking myself why people actually belive this kind of stuff?
I think people bealive misinformation particularly about health because it ties in to their fears. People are afraid of diseases that are difficult to cure and this gives them hope. And when we give them hope they will try everything, they will buy fake medicines, try different hacks.
We do not find a lot of fake news about malaria for example because we all know it is curable and the medicine is clearly accessible.
Who benefits from these news?
Mostly people who want to grow their influence online and they will spread anything.
People who want to actually grow business selling fake cures so you can actually spend your money.
People who want to drive political agendas, so they are going to capitalize on people’s fears to spread stories.