Today like no other, fake news is not what we need to see and read, yet it is happening daily. Reliable information is more crucial than ever in the midst of this global pandemic. Our news feeds, social media accounts and WhatsApp groups are continually being updated with the latest news, government guidance and some laugh out loud memes, that are giving us all a bit of light relief at this crazy time.
We were all waiting with bated breath for Boris Johnston’s announcement last night. Now that the government is implementing a strict lockdown across the country due to COVID-19, most of us will find ourselves spending a lot more time at home and let’s be honest, on our phones. Most likely, we will be spending more time keeping an eye on latest news updates, scrolling on our mobiles for hours and praying for some good news to come our way soon.
But be on your guard; there are some people out there who are sharing hoaxes and fake news stories about Coronavirus. Yes, they must be very bored, not to mention extremely irresponsible.
Facebook appears to be doing its part to stem the tide of misinformation and fake news. The company has also vowed to ban ads and commercial listings for masks, hand sanitizer, surface disinfecting wipes and COVID-19 testing kits.
WhatsApp is attempting to tackle the issue and has launched a website to help combat misinformation surrounding the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. The Facebook-owned company has partnered with the World Health Organisation and UNICEF to create helpful material. For more information visit: https://www.whatsapp.com/coronavirus/
Twitter will do the same and has vowed to remove tweets that run the risk of causing harm by spreading dangerous misinformation about Covid-19.
Ignore speculation, delete any accounts that are producing blatantly incorrect and disruptive information and only follow reliable sources.
Keep your head space in the right space. And remember, #stayathome!