BBC AFRICA has launched a COVID-19 misinformation hub to help people separate the facts from the fake news.
The online resource, which features a searchable library of fact-checks, debunking popular myths and misinformation about coronavirus in Africa, was created to combat what the World HealthOrganization has called an “infodemic” around COVID-19.
From false remedies to conspiracies about the origin of the coronavirus and dangerous claims that black people could not contract it, during this pandemic misinformation about COVID-19 has spread far and wide, posing a real threat to public health.
Head of journalism for Africa Solomon Mugera said: “With so much fake news circulating about the coronavirus on the continent, we want to help our audiences to sort fact from fiction and share accurate information with their colleagues, friends and families.”
Conscious of the how social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook have been used to share false claims and dubious reports, the BBC has designed the COVID-19 misinformation hub to give audiences easy access to trusted journalism from the BBC in a concise and visually engaging format that is mobile-friendly and encourages sharing across social media.
Audiences can explore the validity of various reports using the fact-check library, which will be updated and expanded over the coming months, using keywords or selecting a category or country.
The library features the best fact-checking coverage from BBC Africa and BBC Reality Check, whether it’s debunking false claims about the cause of death of high profile figures or investigating claims of cures for the virus.
One of three ratings – false, misleading or no evidence – is used to categorise the central claim examined in each fact-check.
Head of BBC Africa digital Miriam Quansah said: “As our journalists continue to report on the damaging impact fake COVID-19 stories have in Africa, this database will play a role in combatting the growing infodemic by providing trusted and verified information.”