The term ‘disinfodemic‘ has been coined by commentators for the spreading of unreliable and fake news amidst this pandemic.
These fake news are spread globally and it is dangerous as people try different medicines in the hope to get cured of this disease as they try unproven remedies thus causing harm.
Fact-based journalism gets contaminated due to the spread of fake sayings. Unesco has already warned for the impact of how we change the information had on the social, political, technological, and economical transformation contaminating the true journalism and in these days, people’s lives, due to the pandemic.
Guy Berger, the Director for Policies and Strategies regarding Communication and Information at UNESCO says that almost every section of nations are affected by the disinformation during the crisis of COVID-19. This misinformation expands from the origin of coronavirus to the unproven ways of curing this disease.
WHO has added the “MythBusters” section to its online page of coronavirus. This section includes claims for killing coronavirus such as drinking potent alcoholic drinks, exposure to high temperatures, or conversely, cold weather.
Mr. Burger added that there have been, myths like- young people are immune to coronavirus or people who are of African descent are immune to this disease and those people who are living in warm weather conditions do not have to worry much. This fake news will result in premature deaths only said, Mr. Burger.
Spreading Fake News
UNESCO has also marked out a piece of misleading information that some medications people are taking, not even clinically tested in the curing of coronavirus.
Mr. Berger, says that some have spread this news, for the benefit of their agendas: “The motives for spreading disinformation are many, and include political aims, self-promotion, and attracting attention as part of a business model. Those who do so, play on emotions, fears, prejudices, and ignorance, and claim to bring meaning and certainty to a reality that is complex, challenging and fast-changing.”
But, he also added that not everyone is spreading this untruth for bad agendas. People who have good intentions are also circulating this news, whatever their reason may be, the outcome remains the same.“These different motives require different responses, but we should not lose sight of the fact that irrespective of intention, the effect of sharing falsehoods is to disinform and disempower the public, with deadly potential” says Mr. Burger.