Guest Column

OPINION | Covid-19 and the fake news threat: three experts weigh in

2020-04-23 16:01
The coronavirus infodemic poses a considerable threat, says the writers. (iStock)

The coronavirus infodemic poses a considerable threat, says the writers. (iStock)

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Fake news, especially around Covid-19, has, in some instances, proven to be lethal - with deaths recorded after people had followed misguided or simply incorrect "advice". 

Three experts from the medical, media and law professions weigh in on the issue:

  • Professor Faadiel Essop, Director of the Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research in Africa (CARMA) at Stellenbosch University urges us to "inoculate" against the Covid-19 infodemic;
  • Quentin Wray, a veteran editor and writer says it is everyone's duty to be measured when digesting information; and
  • Senior legal professional Serjeant at the Bar reminds us that "freedom of expression is a vital constitutional right but it does come with obligations".

fake news
(Getty Images)

The Covid-19 'infodemic' and why conspiracy theories are extremely dangerous

It is up to the medical profession and medical scientists to make sure we regularly communicate with the public to provide a better sense of certainty and control, writes Faadiel Essop.

The current global climate is tense enough as it is, with families being separated, people losing loved ones, millions of jobs being shed and economies in freefall, writes Quentin Wray.

trump covid

(Getty Images)

The danger of experts overreaching during Covid-19

Distinguished professionals who deservedly are recognised as experts in their field should not be using their reputation to overreach by trenching into areas way beyond their expertise. Freedom of expression is a vital constitutional right but it does come with obligations, writes Serjeant at the Bar.

Read more on:    coronavirus  |  fake news  |  pandemic
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