Fake news rife as coronavirus fears spread

Fake news rife as coronavirus fears spread

An official at Don Mueang airport holds a health advisory card written in Chinese at the Tier 6 passenger screening area for all arrivals from China. Those suspected of carrying coronavirus will be isolated and transferred to a hospital. Pattarapong Chatpattarasill
An official at Don Mueang airport holds a health advisory card written in Chinese at the Tier 6 passenger screening area for all arrivals from China. Those suspected of carrying coronavirus will be isolated and transferred to a hospital. Pattarapong Chatpattarasill

Over 75% of news reports on the coronavirus outbreak making the rounds on Thai social media is fake news, according to an update yesterday by the Anti-Fake News Centre under the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society.

Of the 43 widely circulated news items related to the coronavirus, 33 are totally baseless and fictitious, one distorts the truth, leaving only nine which are factually reliable, Buddhipongse Punnakant, the Digital Economy and Society Minister told the media in a press briefing yesterday.

To combat against fake news, the government yesterday held a meeting with related agencies and the private sector, including an executive from Facebook to discuss measures that can be taken against the spread of fake news, he said.

Several items of fake news are blatantly wrong, including reports of Chinese President Xi Jinping ordering soldiers in mainland China to summarily execute citizens who refuse to cooperate with the government's outbreak control measures, fear-mongering in which clips showing a tourist collapsing at Suvarnabhumi airport went viral, healthcare tips about a herbal concoction to kill the coronavirus or bogus science which claimed the virus can be transmitted by simply looking into the eyes of an infected person.


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