While the new coronavirus has affected over 82,100 people worldwide and the death toll reached to almost 2,800 globally, people from all around the world are currently panic-stricken due to the outbreak. But, when the time demanded people to share accurate information about the COVID-19, there are some social media platforms which are showcasing fake news related to the disease.
It should be mentioned that in this era when social media plays a huge role in spreading news, platforms like Facebook and YouTube are being used to share misinformation.
Do not trust this news
In Facebook groups, many users are opposing vaccines and campaigning against 5G mobile phone networks. As per the BBC reporter, after scanning a number of the 5G groups, it was revealed that many users have claimed a link between the 5G network and the Coronavirus.
A Facebook group called, Stop 5G UK, has around 27,000 members. One of these members has posted that "I've heard it's not a serious 'Virus', it's about as bad as a flu or cold. So really this is a perfect plan to cover up EMF/5G related illnesses."
There are other users who have shared links to websites and videos connecting the coronavirus to the rollout of 5G in the part of China which is the epicentre of the outbreak that has affected 49 countries. The News Commenter published the article entitled with "5G launches in Wuhan weeks before Coronavirus outbreak."
YouTube video on Coronavirus
It should be noted that there is a YouTube video, entitled with "WUHAN CORONA VIRUS IS A 5G L.E.D SMART STREET LIGHT TEST BED," which is also popular in the Facebook groups, including, Stop 5G UK. Other YouTube videos shared complex conspiracy theories which include a suggestion that the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship whose passengers had to be quarantined was affected by COVID-19 because it used 5G technology for its connectivity.
Another theory suggested that the Novel Coronavirus was engineered in a lab and deliberately released by, take your pick, the Chinese or American government. Even an article from Technocracy News claimed that "It is becoming pretty clear that the Hunan coronavirus is an engineered bio-weapon that was either purposely or accidentally released."
Authentic information on social media
If you want to search for the Coronavirus, WHO is an accurate platform to get reliable information. YouTube is also trying to stop the misleading information and for that, a WHO banner ad will appear above any videos about the COVID-19. But in YouTube, a conspiracy video is appearing with the adverts. BBC claimed that it means that the site owner Google is still profiting from misinformation.
Facebook has taken steps to combat the spread of misinformation about the Novel Coronavirus. As per the reports, Facebook's third-party fact-checkers investigate suspicious claims and when they rate information as false, the social media company limits its spread across Facebook and Instagram.