Commentary

NewsGuard Identifies 10 'Super-Spreaders' Of COVID-19 Untruths

Coronavirus misinformation is likely to become a bigger threat now that more U.S. cities and states are lifting lockdowns, which lets many businesses re-open and gets more people back to work.

Reliable sources of news are even more crucial as people gradually resume activities that have been restricted for weeks, especially since the COVID-19 illness is still a major public health worry.

Unfortunately, false information has a way of spreading even faster than the coronavirus, undermining efforts to educate people about steps to protect themselves or giving them false hope of COVID-19 cures.

Just as the coronavirus has "super-spreaders," inaccurate reporting has carriers that are possibly dangerous.

Ten users of social network Twitter stand out as super-spreaders of misinformation about the coronavirus, according to press watchdog NewsGuard. The company identified those Twitter accounts with at least 100,000 followers and which published or shared "clearly and egregiously false content about the virus."
Those top 10 are:
  1. Femi Fani-Kayode, former Nigerian politician
  2. Bill Mitchell, conservative radio commentator
  3. Deep State Exposed, the Twitter account of author Jeremy Stone
  4. David Icke, former British soccer player
  5. Joseph Mercola, osteopathic physician and alternative medicine advocate
  6. Melissa A., a conservative social-media figure
  7. Jordan Sather
  8. Martin Geddes, self-described “Digital Soldier” banned from MailChimp and Medium
  9. CJTruth, anonymous Twitter account
  10. Organic Lifestyle Magazine
NewsGuard included example of their tweets that contained the allegedly false information, and sought comment from each of them. The accounts were active as of May 5, despite Twitter's pledge in March to remove potentially harmful information from its platform, according to NewsGuard.

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12 comments about "NewsGuard Identifies 10 'Super-Spreaders' Of COVID-19 Untruths".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, May 8, 2020 at 7:54 a.m.

    Rob, where did the POTUS wind up in these rankings?

  2. Jay Goldstein from Independent replied, May 8, 2020 at 9:35 a.m.

    Great question!

  3. David Scardino from TV & Film Content Development replied, May 8, 2020 at 9:56 a.m.

    Come on, Ed, POTUS is in a league all by himself, and he has been since Obama was born in Nigeria...

  4. Ken Kurtz from creative license, May 8, 2020 at 11:56 a.m.

    I guess current POTUS would fall behind Obama, who said "Don't worry, you can keep your Doctor Fauci even though you may not want to when it is uncovered that he's been a primary proponent for the very risky 'gain-of-function' bat virus research in Wuhan that appears more and more every day to be responsible for this deadly virus that has been unleashed upon the world."

    This is where so called "scientific evidence" used as an ideological bludgeoning tool so reliably falls flat on its face. So much different "science"... so many different "believing brain" scientists looking for places to use cherry picked science to "fill gaps" in what's coming out of their mouths, and that they believe (correctly, or incorrectly) to be true.

    Each and every POTUS has been at the mercy of the people around them. Trump, like many in the past, has surrounded himself with many people of differing scientific opinions, and in his impatient petulance, will share any and all of those contrary opinions with us as long as there is a camera on him, because of the possibility that one of them may be correct, and he might wind up being able to take credit for it. like the stopped clock that is correct twice a day.

    For example, Trump has surrounded himself with Fauci, longtime director of the NIAID, which we now know committed $7.4 million in recent years to the very risky study of bat coronaviruses (including monies to the Wuhan laboratory where COVID-19 has been traced to). The primary risk of these very risky "gain-of-function" studies? Look around. We are living it.

    And the scientist (Fauci) that was the PRIMARY BACKER of these very dangerous studies that hundreds of this country's top scientistswere dead against because they would enhance the ability of bat coronaviruses to infect human cells and laboratory animals due to their techniques of genetic engineering is nowthe most trusted point man on cleaning up the mess that it appears he was responsible for starting? Can't write this shit.

    And you jackwagons here want to blame Trump because he happens to be in office concurrent with the unleashing of this pandemic that's been in the works since Fauci's agency ignored warnings from hundreds of our country's top scientists, and started funding research labs like the one in Wuhan in 2014 to help make it easier for bat coronaviruses to jump to humans?

    Ignoramuses.

    More from Newsweek Magazine here...

    https://www.newsweek.com/dr-fauci-backed-controversial-wuhan-lab-millions-us-dollars-risky-coronavirus-research-1500741

  5. Jay Goldstein from Independent replied, May 8, 2020 at 1:19 p.m.

    Ed Papazian, I had no idea as a loyal American,who always supports and believes our dear leader, no matter what, but did you know there are reports that current Potus has lied 16k times in first three years of his regime(and thats before Covid lies).  Did you also know that those 16k lies or misstatements equal to the one misstatement Obama made about keeping your doctor(which most of us were able to do) in current Potus supporters minds? 

    ... https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/479041-fact-checker-counts-16k-false-misleading-claims-by-trump-in-three

  6. Ken Kurtz from creative license, May 8, 2020 at 2:54 p.m.

    Again. Every time a leftist loon LIES about lies that people haven't told, they elevate that person, and diminish themselves.

  7. Ken Kurtz from creative license, May 8, 2020 at 3:24 p.m.

    Ed. Don't listen to the SUNY Albany trashman. The only reason there are "reports" of thousands of lies is that the loony lefties got caught with their pants around their ankles when a really bad candidate beat an even worse candidate back in 2016, and they became hell-bent on impeachment regardless of cost (including fake reports of lies). Trump is just another in a long line of presidents (all politicans, really) that default to pure bullshit to curry favor, sway blocks of voters, and to make sure they're lying "downwind." 

    Obama also declared that he would be the "most inclusive" President of all time, and reach across the aisle to get things done to a greater degree than any President before him to "get things done." I believed him in 2008, and voted for him, but even that turned out to be a flat out lie which led me to vote Libertarian again in 2012, as Obama had already proven himself not quite up to getting much of anything done in his first four years, and entirely unwilling to stretch across the aisle at all. Just another liar helping to pave the way for the orange haired buffoon that came to learn that lying didn't matter much, and was incapable of keeping anybody from getting elected. Heck, even Slick Willy (another Dem I voted for because I believed his lies first time around) gave Trump a great lesson in how lying under oath about sexual harassment in the Oval Office couldn't stick, and get you removed from office. That's right, Trump learned from a long line of political BULLSHIT ARTISTS that preceded him so, go ahead Goldy, count them up, even the fake ones that you've made up, and see if you can make them stick to anything other than your own leftist hide.  

    The whole "number of lies" and counting thing is so sophomoric, so inconsequential, and so "SELF-STAINING" that it will only blow-back on the left, and help to re-elect the orange haired imbecile yet again. Especially if the "three million lies and counting" Biden remains the candidate that Trump will face. 


  8. Ken Kurtz from creative license, May 8, 2020 at 3:30 p.m.

    I will hand it to Obama though. He did prove himself to be "more cool" and "more cerebral" than that dumbass "Alfred E. Neumanesque" liar Dubya that preceded him.

    But "cool, and cerebral" does not a strong global leader make (a good community organizer, yes). Good Lord, Obama made us China's and Iran's bitches in more ways than can be counted.

  9. Kenneth Fadner from MediaPost, May 8, 2020 at 10:28 p.m.

    Ken Kurtz: For you ...
    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/obama-admin-wuhan-lab-grant/

  10. Ken Kurtz from creative license replied, May 8, 2020 at 11:01 p.m.

    Yes Ken. That confirms what I wrote...

    For example, Trump has surrounded himself with Fauci, longtime director of the NIAID, which we now know committed $7.4 million in recent years to the very risky study of bat coronaviruses (including monies to the Wuhan laboratory where COVID-19 has been traced to).

    There was an original 3.7 million apportioned, and then another 3.7 apportioned for ongoing manipulation of these vurueses last year. Fauci has been behind these apportionments to the disappointment of hundreds of our best scientists because of the terrible risk involved, which we are realizing now.

  11. Kenneth Fadner from MediaPost, May 12, 2020 at 3:04 p.m.

    Ken Kurtz: Correction for your claimed amounts going to the Wuhan lab ...
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/05/11/60-minutes-cites-tucker-carlson-tonight-coronavirus-misinformation/

  12. Ken Kurtz from creative license replied, May 13, 2020 at 4:07 p.m.

    Not sure what you're talking about, Ken Fadner. I did not cite any amount that was earmarked for the lab in Wuhan. I posted this link from Newsweek Magazine...

    https://www.newsweek.com/dr-fauci-backed-controversial-wuhan-lab-millions-us-dollars-risky-coronavirus-research-1500741

    ... that spoke of a total of 7.4 million earmarked by NIAID, with some portion of those monies going to Wuhan. I don't know what amount went to Wuhan, only that hundreds of our finest, and brightest scientists were entirely against the dangerous research, at all, because of the potential of an outbreak like the one we're dealing with now.

    I cannot access that WP Opinion piece. Are you insinuating that the 7.4 million dollar total from NIH and NIAID that Newsweek reported (not opined upon, but actually reported) is off? 

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