Covid-19: these fake news are a hit on the Internet

Infertility, luciferase, etc., experts have identified more than 500 news sites, which distill false information on the Covid-19 pandemic. And, as unimaginable as it may sound, these are the platforms that generate the most traffic. It’s surreal!

According to international media reports, NewsGuard experts analyzed some of the most frequented sites in five countries: United States, the UK, the France, l’Germany and theItaly. On these 6.730 sites, 519 published false information about Covid-19. “Which means that over 7% of all the most popular news sites publish this dangerous content”, explains the American start-up, co-founded by Gordon Crovitz, a former editor of the Wall Street Journal who specializes in checking the credibility of news and current affairs sites.

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This false information relates, among other things, to the anti-Covid vaccine, “Deceiving families, often through false allegations with potentially fatal consequences”, according to the published report, September 8, 2021. Problem, these sites, “Promoting bogus treatments and relaying false claims about the dangers of vaccines often generates a lot more traffic than globally reliable sites”. NewsGuard cites, for example, a site controlled by the antivax activist, Robert F. Kennedy Jr, which has garnered more engagement (likes, shares, comments) over the past 90 days than the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the U.S. Institutes of Health.

The big myths around the vaccine

Analysts have identified 50 myths main ones that circulate on these sites and on social networks and highlight 05 : 1) MRNA vaccines modify human DNA; 2) The vaccines made 97% of those who received it infertile; 3) They are responsible for the increase of new variants of the virus; 4) Airlines have advised those vaccinated against flying to avoid blood clots; 5) The vaccines contain luciferase, named after Lucifer.

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And this misinformation has consequences: “It has contributed to increasing mistrust of science and institutions for a year and a half, making the fight against Covid-19 more difficult and dangerous”, highlighted Andy Pattison from the World Health Organization (WHO), reported by international media. According to him, revealing these sources of disinformation online allows the WHO and the digital community to stop the action of providers of infox.

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