March 2nd 2020
As concern about the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) increases, it is important that people in the UK and, indeed, around the world are aware of what they read is factual, and what is fake.
Any widespread health issue or major disaster is invariably accompanied by individuals or organisations creating and spreading fake news (or at least exaggerated versions of the truth). The reasons range from pure ignorance, through publishers wanting to sell more newspapers, to fraud, clickbaiting or other malicious purposes.
For example, to date we have heard of a wide range of stories, from being intentionally produced and released from a Chinese biotech lab to being spread on the Diamond Princess cruise ship because it uses 5G for its connectivity. In the case of Coronavirus, so little is known about the nature of the virus – even by health experts – that it is difficult to determine the truth, avoiding panic and ensuring that people take the correct precautions to protect themselves, loved ones, friends and colleagues.
Get Safe Online is urging the public and businesses to do the following during the Coronavirus situation:
- Get news only from the BBC, ITN, Sky, CNN and other respected sources, whether it’s online, television or radio, or respected daily newspapers and their online channels with a reputation for unbiased, non-sensational reporting
- Get information on the virus, its symptoms, how it spreads and how to avoid and deal with it from official sources, such as:
For your information, we have reproduced a graphic published on the BBC’s website about helping to stop the virus spreading.