The world is in a health emergency due to the spread of the covid-19 virus, which has turned into a pandemic.
Within this framework, information on this subject comes and goes through social networks. It is here where the fake news or “fake news” have not been made wait, misinforming a public eager to know real information about this evil.
Ecuador is no exception, alarmist messages have multiplied in this period of epidemic. Videos, recordings or messages are shared virally, which hurts the authorities in their fight to stop the pandemic.
Messages that encourage citizens to stock up on food due to a total curfew in the country, or that there are thousands of infected and dozens of deaths due to coronavirus contagion, circulate through Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter.
The purpose is clear: to create chaos in the population. As early as February of this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned of the “massive infodemic” surrounding covid-19, that is, an overabundance of information, which is not always true or accurate.
Proof of this since the beginning of the epidemic, the AFP factchecking service (factual AFP) published no less than 140 articles in English verifying the most viral false claims, 52 in Spanish and 53 in French.
“The same false information appears in Asia, Europe, the United States and Latin America within a few hours of each other,” explains Cristina Tardaguila, associate director of the international fact-checking network IFCN, whose members, present in 45 countries, share their articles.
Ecuador allied with Facebook
In this context, the Government of Ecuador announced, on Thursday, March 19, 2020, that it has joined forces with the social network Facebook and WhatsApp to stop the proliferation of fake news, which has charged, until Monday, March 23, the lives of 18 people and a total of 981 infected.
With this objective, the General Secretariat for Communication of the Presidency of Ecuador developed a series of initiatives with these companies to keep Ecuadorians informed about prevention measures and combating the dissemination of false news on these platforms.
Users in Ecuador of these two social networks will have a prominent notification at the top of these pages, in the news section (News feed), to link to the portal of the Ministry of Health that contains official information and data on the coronavirus in the country.
In this link, users will be able to find updated official data, prevention measures and other recommendations to deal with the disease, which they can use as a contrast to hoaxes or false news that may appear on those social networks.
People looking for information about covid-19 on Facebook or Instagram can go through the link to the official sites of the Ministry of Public Health of Ecuador or the World Health Organization.