Fake News Spread Faster Than the Coronavirus

Fake News Spread Faster Than the Coronavirus
11 May 2020 | 00:57

Two photos with messages showing alleged discussions between Prime Minister Ion Chicu, the Minister of Health, Viorica Dumbrăveanu, and President Igor Dodon were massively shared on social media platforms. 

The messages featured alleged discussions between the Prime Minister, the Minister of Health, and the President. The alleged discussions aimed to show that the coronavirus doesn’t exist and the authorities are trying to exploit the cases to receive foreign aid. 

Although the messages were fake, they were massively shared by tens of thousands of people in groups on social media platforms, but also through messaging applications.

The Ministry of Health and the Government Respond to the Messages 

The messages went viral. Many people considered them to be true, but the state institutions did not come up with reactions.

ZdG contacted, Vitalie Dragancea, Prime Minister Ion Chicu’s communication adviser specified that such messages are stupid, adding that the Government does not need the press to debunk the fakes that appear. Dragancea mentioned that the Government is communicating with the citizens and doesn’t need the press, because the government doesn’t always trust in the press. He also claimed that the government will not keep debunking fake news as it means engaging with the people that produce them and entering their game. 

The representatives of the Ministry of Health said the messages were not authentic, and that the Ministry will not comment on fake news.

Ziarul de Gardă tried to find out from whom and how the fake messages reached the social media platforms. We found that the oldest post was from April 30, this year and had over 1,600 shares.

In another group, over 6,800 Facebook users shared the post. Hundreds of other Facebook users, including public figures, shared the two messages. 

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