How the coronavirus rumor mill can thrive in private group chats
March 6, 2020 8:04 AM Subscribe
Social media platforms work to fight coronavirus myths, but they may not be able to win against your DMs. With the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak still so new, fear of the death and disruption it could cause rapidly mounting, and treatments for it still a big question mark, rumors and misinformation about the outbreak are starting to spread. A wary public might be especially susceptible to believing unverified rumors about how the outbreak began (nope, the new coronavirus wasn’t created in a lab) or taking misguided measures to protect themselves (unless you’re sick or caring for someone who is, face masks aren’t the answer!). And buying into alarmist falsehoods can be dangerous. The spread of misinformation is already commonplace on social media, where the sharing of content from biased sources frequently outpaces whatever fact-checking and moderation safeguards are in place. Which is why coronavirus myths are starting to crop up on both Facebook and Twitter, along with YouTube and TikTok and messaging apps like WhatsApp.
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