Just because a story appears online, doesn’t mean it is true. The internet is great, but it can also be used to spread misleading news and content. Protect yourself and your friends from false information about coronavirus. Use the SHARE checklist to make sure you don't feed the beast.Discover the checklist
When shared, false information can take on a life of its own and have some serious consequences. It can lead to health scares, false accusations and potentially damaging hoax stories. Recently there has been a lot of this kind of false information about coronavirus. It’s not always easy to spot, so use the SHARE checklist to make sure that you don’t feed the beast.
A viral social media post circulated claimed that a Stanford University study found that you can check you don’t have coronavirus if you hold your breath for 10 seconds. Stanford University had to tweet to correct this false information. This advice is based on false assertions that medical sources have disproven. Always check the NHS website for the facts.
False information spread on social media has caused some people to believe that 5G technology causes coronavirus. This false information led people to burn down cell towers providing communications to vulnerable people. There is no scientific evidence to back up this claim, which has been robustly debunked. Always check the credentials of people spreading conspiracy theories.
Social media posts are circulating with information claiming to come from distant contacts. One such social media contained 'medical advice' that came from a “friends uncle, with a masters degree, who works in a Hospital”. However, the source is not named, and the post contains speculation, false facts, and misleading information. Always make sure you know that the source of your information is reputable.
Rely on official sources for medical and safety information. Check the facts about coronavirus on the NHS website and GOV.UK.
Headlines don’t always tell the full story. Always read to the end before you share articles about coronavirus.
Analyse the facts. If something sounds unbelievable, it very well might be. Independent fact-checking services are correcting false information about coronavirus every day.
Watch out for misleading pictures and videos in stories about coronavirus. They might be edited, or show an unrelated place or event. Check to see who else is using the photo.
Look out for mistakes. Typos and other errors might mean the information is false. Official guidance about coronavirus will always have been carefully checked.
The following are helpful tools and websites to help you better understand coronavirus, and spot false information about it.