“In deze gezondheidscrisis zien we dat sociale media ons helpen met elkaar verbonden te blijven. Maar er is ook een schaduwkant. Sociale media kunnen taal verspreiden met haat en bedrog die schade kan aanrichten.”
(CEO of Save the Children)

Access to reliable information about Covid-19 is vitally important for all citizens. Many citizens use social media to stay informed, also about the Covd-19; but fake news is jeopardising their access to reliable information.

Fake news about health information has been spread from time immemorial. The prominent virologist Ab Osterhaus once replied to a question from a journalist about whether conspiracy theorists were a new phenomenon or whether at the time of the Mexican flu epidemic people were also afraid that Bill Gates was implanting them with nanochips via the vaccine: “As far as vaccinations are concerned, these conspiracy theories go all the way back to the 18th century, when the British physician Edward Jenner invented the first vaccine (against smallpox). The cartoons from that era are fantastic and show Jenner vaccinating someone, while surrounded by all kinds of vaccinated people who have grown cow’s ears and cow’s legs.”