Africa Has A COVID-19 Problem And It’s Not Just The Virus. It’s WhatsApp

The infodemic that is spreading arrives on smartphones in messages that have been forwarded by a friend or relative and includes information purportedly from a prominent doctor or a friend of a friend who works in government.

One false claim that is circulating: drinking warm water every 15 minutes will neutralize the coronavirus. There are also false claims that garlic is a proven treatment.

Beyond WhatsApp, these hoax messages also find their way to other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, but there they are ultimately debunked and buried. And that’s because those kinds of broadcasts can be seen by a ‘very public audience’ and addressed appropriately.

Facebook and Instagram (both owned by Facebook Inc. together with WhatsApp) have taken more robust and direct efforts to combat coronavirus misinformation, using third-party moderators to fact-check and hunt down misinformation. Unlike WhatsApp.

Read more: WeeTracker

 


 

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