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
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.
UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.