Social media infected with fake news and videos of Wuhan coronavirus

Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter are filled with a massive amount of fake news and videos related to the Wuhan's Coronavirus

The current scenario of coronavirus is extremely alarming as China's National Health Commission said on Wednesday that the death toll has risen to 132 with 26 new deaths as of end Tuesday, January 28, with another 1,459 new cases confirmed, while the number of infected rose to almost 6,000 in China.

With the constant fear of falling prey to the virus, people across the world are eagerly sharing whatever little information they get enabling even fake news on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp making inroads into the information circles on the deadly disease. The posts are increasingly shared by netizens worldwide despite pledges by the social media companies to eliminate fake news.

Do not trust every post on coronavirus

A man covers his face as he walks to work in Delhi
Coronavirus outbreak Reuters

A Republican standing for the US Senate 2020, VA Shiva Ayyadurai got involved in a controversy in the past for his remarks when he posted a picture of a patent suggesting that the coronavirus already has a patent registered in the US.

The replies to the post suggested that many Facebook users were linking the patent to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in China. Even many anti-vaxxing groups on the social media site have posted the patent link, claiming that it is indeed a US conspiracy.

On January 21, another misleading information was posted on Facebook which has been shared 4,800 times and has received 432 comments. One of the comments includes a link to a website which calls coronavirus is a hoax while claiming that drinking corona beer will cure the virus.

Facebook post

However, this does not come to an end as another comment on the post links to a website that claims that the philanthropy non-profit organization Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is connected to the recent outbreak of Wuhan coronavirus.

On Twitter, a new set of claims have emerged with users calling the coronavirus a man-made virus, a bio-weapon. In this platform also users have accused the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which has earlier worked with The Pirbright Institute. As Twitter user claims, "the new fad disease called the 'coronavirus' is sweeping headlines. Funny enough, there was a patent for the coronavirus (that) was filed in 2015 and granted in 2018."

WhatsApp is a new fake news platform

Recently a video was found on the messaging platform WhatsApp, which was forwarded with a text note stating that "Korona virus, very new deadly form of virus, china is suffering, may come to India immediately, avoid any form of cold drinks, ice creams, koolfee, etc, any type of preserved foods, milkshake, rough ice, ice colas, milk sweets older then 48 hours, for at least 90 days from today."

Fake WhatsApp msg
Fake WhatsApp message on coronavirus WhatsApp

The video shows a man taking medication for a small hole on his swelled lips. After a few seconds, when the medic used ointments with other medicines the video shows a leach kind of creature coming out of the man's lips. Just to be clear, this video is not at all related to the China virus outbreak but still, it is widely shared among the WhatsApp groups.

This article was first published on January 29, 2020
Related topics : Coronavirus Fake news Facebook