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Fake news on Coronavirus spreading more than the pandemic: What to do?

Fake news, misinformation, or however you plan to address it, it is half information with falsehood and when we get to consume it, we know we are in trouble.

Vanshika Malhotra Vanshika Malhotra @vanshika1628
New Delhi Updated on: March 20, 2020 13:59 IST
Fake news on Coronavirus in on the rise.
Image Source : PIXABAY

Fake news on Coronavirus in on the rise.

Coronavirus has wreaked havoc everywhere and the bad news is that the pandemic is continuing to cause issues globally. Yes, we need to follow the simple steps of cleanliness but the number of people it has affected is bound to raise concerns. But, what's being spread the most and has its foot set firmly in our lives is fake news. As the novel Coronavirus expands its reach, fake news follows.

Fake news, misinformation, or however you plan to address it, it is half information with falsehood and when we get to consume it, we know we are in trouble.

These days, more often than not, I am exposed to Coronavirus-related news but I am not sure if I can trust all of it. On one hand, cow dung is the ultimate cure to the virus in India, and on the other, US President Donald Trump is planning on a national lockdown in the US. Turns out, all this is fake. Be it the various cures to the virus or the various ways being followed to control it, there is a share of both false information and the truth.

If you too are a victim of misinformation and trying to get your hands on the real information is becoming difficult than controlling Coronavirus, here's what you need to know to avoid it and stay safe from it:

Since fake news has been prevalent for more than a year now, social media giants such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and even Google have been doing their bits to fight against it. When WhatsApp saw innumerable fake messages being sent, it started labelling WhatsApp messages as Forwarded so that you know they are being forwarded and you can cross-check the information. Additionally, people can't go on sending forwarded messages and there is a limit to it now; you can forward a message only five times a day. 

In addition to this, WhatsApp now has an information hub wherein you can get all the Coronavirus facts and news and this aims to ensure you are not prone to fake news. Twitter will delete tweets that have any false news on Coronavirus, YouTube won't show such videos, and Facebook will put up true Corona information on the top of its feed -- all this to make sure you are just subjected to the truth. Another WhatsApp effort in this the MyGov Corona Helpdesk in India, which is a WhatsApp chatbot to solve users' Coronavirus queries.

Google isn't behind too; it has introduced Google Discover where you can easily report misinformation about anything and this way you will be giving out your bit into `our` fight against fake news.

But, there are a couple of more things you can do for the same. It's always, always best to refer to reliable sources for any piece of information. In this case, the WHO (World Health Organisation) and all the reputed news organizations should be your sources. Fake news is nothing but slightly emotion-inducing. Hence, if you hear or read anything about Coronavirus that is weird or shocking, do not forget to double-check the information.

If you have encountered fake news, head to Google Discover and report it. Also, ask your loved ones to follow this and your life can be sorted too.

I hope these steps help you remain safe from both Coronavirus fake news and the virus itself. Remember, do not believe everything you see on the internet!

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