Coronavirus Rapid Spread through the Internet

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Coronavirus Rapid Spread through the Internet

Four of the squares shown on Pinterest, offering accurate information on how to properly handle the Coronaviruse.

Four of the squares shown on Pinterest, offering accurate information on how to properly handle the Coronaviruse.

Four of the squares shown on Pinterest, offering accurate information on how to properly handle the Coronaviruse.

Four of the squares shown on Pinterest, offering accurate information on how to properly handle the Coronaviruse.

The Coronavirus, is made up of a large group of viruses that could be found in both humans and animals.“Cousin” of the SARS virus and originating from Wuhan, China. When infected, symptoms are close to those of a common flu or cold.

Since the outbreak of the virus in early January, over 28,000 cases have been reported from China. A total death toll reaching up to 560 victims. As of now, in the U.S. the CDC is monitoring over 293 individuals. Of those 293, 76 are still pending and 11 are confirmed. The 11 confirmed patients are located in California, Washington, Arizona, Illinois and Massachusetts.

Don’t believe everything you read on the internet

With this being said, you’ve probably already heard or scrolled through dozens of posts about the disease, and its growing threat. But what’s more alarming is the growing threat of misinformation on the internet. From videos of fake lab workers handling “contaminated” blood, to claims that drinking bleach or eating garlic as a cure. Wrong information like this are adding to the Internet’s huge amount of misleading posts, flooded with false information. Subsequently, all these types of efforts are already being set into place to stop these posts, videos, and conspiracies across the internet. One major effort is coming from the World Health Organization (W.H.O) in of San Francisco. Aleksandra Kuzmanovic, a worker for W.H.O, is trying her hardest to put a stop on this “Infodemic.” By working with tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, Google and Twitter in hopes to get the right information into people’s homes and phones.

Debunking false information

Kuzmanovics’s first step was getting together with Pinterest, to set up a W.H.O myth debunking infographic on the website, giving basic information to users who search up the disease. Like how to keep sanitary or how to stay safe while traveling. Facebook is also taking its own measures on fighting this issue of misleading information. As of late January, Facebook has been completely removing any posts sharing false information to users, instead of flagging or demoting the specific post. The social media website has already been under scrutiny for similar posts, involving fake political news or videos, and even anti-vaccination pushers.

There’s no denying the rapid growth of this disease is horrifying, but the dangerous amount of misleading information about the disease shouldn’t be at the same level. leading to nothing but unnecessary fear, and putting people in danger.

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