Going viral: fake news and Covid-19 squib

An avalanche of misinformation, fake news and hoaxes are being shared widely online as people seek reliable information on the coronavirus crisis. The Guardian’s media editor, Jim Waterson, examines where the falsehoods are coming from

The coronavirus crisis has confined millions of people around the world to their homes, prompting many to seek the latest news and best information about combating the disease. But while mainstream outlets have had a surge in engagement, there has also been a wave of fake news and viral hoaxes.

The Guardian’s Jim Waterson tells Anushka Asthana that while the big tech firms appear willing to stamp out the worst misinformation from their platforms, they are not always in control of them. This means a key source of fake news could now be your closest circle of friends and family passing on information unwittingly via WhatsApp groups.

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