Coronavirus: The human cost of virus misinformation



We here at the BBC have been tracking the human cost of coronavirus misinformation this includes the souls awesome injuries and deaths as a result of room is false speculation bogus cures and fake posts online Mariana spring from BBC trending has some of the findings Brian lives in Florida in April he posted his thoughts on corona virus on Facebook he wasn't quite sure what current advice really was but because of things he read online he was convinced that the expats were lying I saw those may be is there you know are they still working on the five G. because I've heard rumors not from any news sources but people talking about old you know it could cause fax people getting sick over a five G. towers and being too close just one of the many conspiracy theories that have been circulating online during the pandemic Brian and his wife didn't keep away from other people or seek help when they fell with corona virus the couple ended up in hospital that's why he was when I speak to him by fighting he was getting better but still struggling to breathe his wife was in a much more serious condition one of until later in a nearby ward the battle that they've been having is with her longs there in flames and they've trying to get to the best medication that they can sign I was available to be able to help with that and her body just is just not responding Brian is no longer karenna vice conspiracy theorist and this case is just one of many examples of how dangerous misinformation can be the BBC's anti disinformation unit has investigated hundreds of misinformation cases and found dozens resulted in real human cost like the virus is spread all over the world misleading information about the drug hydroxy car Quinn has let the poisonings in the U. S. Vietnam and Nigeria online remiss led to multi tax in India those conspiracy theories that Brian mentioned about five G. mobile technology well fed masa possess a light in the UK and other countries perhaps the deadliest incident happened in Iran where health authorities say misleading messages about the preventive effects of drinking alcohol went viral on social media Cheyenne's Atari's all day is a disinformation expert with BBC monitoring we start seeing posts eighteen telegram which is one of the most popular messaging apps in Iran I'm also on Instagram that was means videos that was suggesting drinking alcohol can actually boost the immune system and disinfect the body and soul and someone from catching Corbett ninety the authorities say the room is because nearly eight hundred deaths is difficult to verify each case in a country where the media is heavily restricted experts say there's no reason for the Iranian authorities to downplay the deaths coronavirus present something of a nightmare situation for fact checkers like clam mailed from the British organization full facts we know that bad information can ruin lives and at the moment in the middle of such a huge part of that make such great potential for harm if people aren't getting the right information it's not just touchy Facebook group so what messages causing harm some of the most misleading information comes directly from world leaders and public figures and then I see the disinfectant we're not set up in a minute one and is there a way we can do something like that doctors and poison centers in the U. S. told us they've seen patients coming to die right Tom because of misinformation promoted by president trump and others Dr Duncan Marie treats crate of ours patients at Elmhurst hospital in New York City I do think that president trump's comments are a really tragic example where I think that the spread of misinformation actually influenced some of the messaging that comes from our public officials particularly if they have constituents who are vulnerable to that misinformation throughout the pandemic conspiracy groups have seen the number swelled on Facebook this is what some doctors respect T. fear the most Brian the current of ours patient in Florida has a message for the conspiracists we just can't be playing around anymore distancing Israel and yeah sure we'll listen from the beginning I agree I didn't do that and I'm sorry I don't know the people there won't forget me

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