Conspiracy theories on the rise over Coronavirus concerns

By Anamika

Consumption of Bat sticks out as a major conspiracy on the origins of Coronavirus that is rapidly spreading across social media in the aftermath of the outbreak.

Daily Mail

A video of a Chinese woman, Ms Wang Mengyu, eating bat soup was among the most widely circulated posts on social media. This was later widely reported on several mainstream media outlets such as Daily Mail and Russian Network RT.

Although the video was filmed back in 2016, the circulation of this post caused a huge outcry among several twitter users. The users were criticising and speculating that the consumption of wild animals in China is the driving force of harmful viruses like Corona.

The uproar even pushed Ms Mengyu to apologise for having to choose to sample the dish and to consider to even post it online. Even though the location of this video was not Wuhan, and the dish she was trying was deemed as adventurous she was still subjected to xenophobic comments.

Tedros Adanom Ghebreyesus, head of WHO, expressed that the spread of misinformation only creates further barriers to tackle the virus.

“At WHO, we’re not just battling the virus, we’re also battling the trolls and conspiracy theorists that push misinformation and undermine the outbreak response,” he said at a recent media briefing.

In a recent statement, to fight against the breeding ground of conspiracy theories, a group of scientists signed a petition shedding light on the issue.

“We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin. We support the call from the Director-General of WHO to promote scientific evidence and unity over misinformation and conjecture”.

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg even released a post addressing the fact that Facebook will be taking initiatives to redact any “false claims”.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) created a myth-buster page to illuminate on the consequences that arise from the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories.

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