Earlier today, Facebook announced that they’re going to reduce the distribution of Wuhan virus contents that are fake, and will remove contents that have been flagged by “leading global health organizations and local health authorities” as misinformation that might cause harm to people who believe them.
Yes, no need for POFMA to catch misinformation like “drinking a cat’s urine is a cure”.
While it’s still a challenge to fight fake news on Facebook, it’s still rather doable—after all, the social media giant has been fighting fake news for years.
Now, that’s a challenge, since it’s not open for all to see, so there won’t be anyone to correct the sender.
And unfortunately, one of these WhatsApp messages is circulating online.
WhatsApp Message Advises People to Avoid Certain Places
A message has been circulating in WhatsApp and Telegram:
Yes, we blurred the places because this message is exactly the formula to create a mass panic.
While it looks scary, this is, well, fake news.
The Government says that this is false: there is no need to avoid these places because the “risk of infection from transient contact, such as in public places, is low” and there is “also currently no evidence of community spread.”
This is echoed by the MOH in their website:
After all, think about it: we know some of the confirmed cases have taken the public transport. Are you going to avoid public transport altogether? No?
Instead, let’s take deep breaths and think—wait, those confirmed cases have breathed in the air before too, so that means—
PM Lee Advises Us Not to Anyhowly Share Things
During the SARS outbreak, Facebook was called FaceMash, there were no social media except a certain website that allows us to write testimonials on walls. Now the world’s very different, and fake news or rumours can spread as fast as an auntie running for the reserved seats, so it’s important to ensure that we don’t anyhowly share rumours.
PM Lee has this to say, “So I strongly advise everybody, if you hear something shocking … check with proper channels, check from trusted places.”
Now, even the lady who’s stayed in Yishun before told us not to anyhowly share:
If you die die need to share a fake news, then share this lah:
So that no one will knock on our door to sell photocopiers anymore.