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
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:
- Femi Fani-Kayode, former Nigerian politician
- Bill Mitchell, conservative radio commentator
- Deep State Exposed, the Twitter
account of author Jeremy Stone
- David Icke, former British soccer player
- Joseph Mercola, osteopathic physician and alternative medicine advocate
- Melissa A., a conservative
- Jordan Sather
- Martin Geddes, self-described “Digital Soldier” banned from MailChimp and Medium
- CJTruth, anonymous Twitter
- 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.