A young school boy running past a mural in Soweto, South Africa.
Attempting to defeat these folk theories with science achieved little; the myth busters of the AIDS epidemic were talking past those they were trying to convince.
Twitter's efforts to label misinformation during the US primaries haven't met with success. So how do we sift useful coronavirus information from wrong or downright dangerous untruths?
Somali women on a coronavirus awareness campaign.
Some of the false claims about coronavirus may be harmless. But others can be potentially dangerous.
Misinformation and unfounded claims about COVID-19 have flooded social media sites as the new coronavirus has spread.
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Social media analysts are seeing some alarming trends on Twitter, Facebook and other platforms as the new coronavirus spreads.
According to Bot Sentinel, #coronavirus and #COVID19 are among the top hashtags being used by Twitter bot accounts.
Gullibility, cynicism, pride, closed mindedness, negligence and wishful thinking. If you can use any of these to describe your reasoning, it's likely you're committing a sin of thought.
Facebook, the least trusted tech company, has taken the lead in fighting coronavirus misinformation.
AP Photo/Ben Margot
Facebook, Google and Twitter are stepping up to block misinformation and promote accurate information about the coronavirus. Their track records on self-policing are poor. The results so far are mixed.
Online misinformation can, to some extent, be addressed. But what is of concern to health-care communicators are the private communication pathways.
Online news sources continue to grow as a primary source of information and misinformation. But private platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are harder to monitor.
When you share information online, do it responsibly.
Here's what to watch out for, so you can protect yourself – and your social circles – from lies, half-truths and misleading spins on current events.
The pandemic is increasing society’s reliance on digital connections.
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Much of the world is moving online in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Society's newly increased dependence on the internet is bringing the need for good cyber policy into sharp relief.
On the internet, anyone can express their views, like they can in Speakers’ Corner in London – it’s up to the audience to guard against disinformation.
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A scholar who has reviewed the efforts of nations around the world to protect their citizens from foreign interference says there is no magic solution, but there's plenty to learn and do.
Help stop the infodemic.
Don’t shout or lecture – just talk.
It's common to encounter people who are misinformed, but don't know it yet. What's the best way to talk to someone else about what they think is true?
Humour is sometimes used as a coping mechanism in tragic situations.
Jokes and satire can build resilience but also spread misinformation as people don't always know what is trustworthy and what is just funny.
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While COVID-19 is a real concern for businesses and governments, a more serious issue right now is the wider impact of heavily recycled information on society.
A 1411 depiction of a man and woman suffering with bubonic plague, or “Black Death”.
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Misinformation and "fake news" was also widespread during the Black Death.
How can you tell the news from the noise?
As the 2020 elections near and disinformation campaigns ramp up, an expert on media literacy offers advice you can use to develop habits to exert more conscious control over your news intake.
The circulation of misinformation makes understanding the world difficult. Here are three ways you can help children to think critically about the news they see, hear and read.
Have some healthy skepticism when you encounter images online.
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Images without context or presented with text that misrepresents what they show can be a powerful tool of misinformation, especially since photos make statements seem more believable.
What's the best way to tackle coronavirus myths and misinformation if they come up in everyday conversation?