Do you know coronavirus spreads panic in Asia
? The chaos on the internet has been greater when governments have communicated little, explains Axel Bruns, a journalism professor at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia. “It seems to me that the more effective governments’ communication on confinement and on all aspects of their response to the coronavirus has been, the less room there was for disinformation,” says Bruns.
The hoaxes during the coronavirus crisis
False alerts about a man shot dead in a coronavirus checkup , an old recording reporting a supermarket stampede or a 2015 video of a police operation in a brothel circulating with misleading claims. The avalanche of disinformation on the internet and the hoaxes during the coronavirus crisis are causing fear and confusion in Asia , and worldwide, where confinement violators face jail and high fines in some countries.
AFP has checked more than 150 hoaxes or false news related to confinement in the region since February, when governments, beyond China, began imposing restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19.
violating human rights: coronavirus spreads panic in Asia
The hoaxes are creating by a wide variety of people with different motivations: from those who try to discredit governments and deepen religious divisions to pranksters. And they are quickly shared as true events. In April, a hoax that was posted to Facebook in the Philippines suggested that a motorcyclist had been shot to death by skipping a control. In reality, the images, which were viewed tens of thousands of times and often shared, were from a police training exercise.
Some users were shocked and questioned the alleged police brutality in the archipelago, long accused of violating human rights and leading the controversial drug war of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Misinformation was also circulating
But others suggested that the man was a “tough head” who had been punished just for ignoring control, echoing the kind of sentiment Duterte’s supporters show that they rejoice at the thousands of deaths left by the drug war.
Another misinformation was also circulating in the Philippines about the extent of the confinement and false messages about anti-government protests in violation of the ban on congregations.
Elsewhere in Asia, such as Thailand, a video was circulated on Facebook purportedly showing shoppers searching for food in Malaysia after strict confinement was decreed. Thai Facebook users, who viewed the video hundreds of thousands of times, shared it with comments expressing concern that similar scenes exist in Thailand. I hope now you know coronavirus spreads panic in Asia. Be alart!
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