UNICEF alerts the spreading of false messages that increase the risk of misinformation about Corona Virus

Fake messages on the internet suggest that avoiding the consumption of ice cream and cold foods might help preventing the virus

10 March 2020
Illustration water droplet, soap and hand
UNICEF Guinea-Bissau

Bissau, 10 March 2020 –UNICEF alerts that the spreading of fake messages on the internet put at risk real information regarding the virus and might bring severe consequences. Misinformation during a health crisis might spark paranoia, fear and stigmatization. And as a result, people might end unprotected and vulnerable.

A message going around on the internet in different languages, suggests amongst other things, that avoiding the consumption of ice creams and cold foods helps to prevent the virus.

“This is completely wrong. UNICEF appeals everyone, to look for reliable information regarding protection measures, through official sources such as UNICEF or World Health Organization (WHO), government health officials and trustworthy health professionals; and to avoid sharing information from non-reliable or questionable sources”. – said Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director for Partnerships.

In Guinea-Bissau, some UNICEF followers have been sending messages to The United Nations Children's Fund, warning the spread of fake messages on WhatsApp on UNICEF’s.

UNICEF has been taking measures to provide information about the virus and has been working alongside WHO, governmental entities and online partners such as Facebook, LinkedIn and TikTok to ensure that the information displayed is trustworthy and to alert for possible situations like the current one where false information not associated to UNICEF is spread online.

Media contacts

Wilson Gama
Communication Officer
UNICEF Guinea-Bissau
Tel: +245 95 579 79 53


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