Fact-checking as fake news goes viral

The BBC has put together a page fact-checking the latest coronavirus-related nonsense circulating on social media. Today’s crop includes disinfectant-spraying helicopters (nope), a memo from Bill Gates (fake), video showing Turkish food parcels (old) and the official-looking text messages you may be getting right now (criminals).

As ever, Snopes.com continues to bust bullshit (if you’re in the US, they’re hiring!). The top 50 currently includes everything from Nostradamus predicting Covid-19 (nope) to whether the virus is a distraction created so we don’t panic about the doomsday asteroid that’ll kill us all (oh, come on).

My favourite fake news story is the one about Russia releasing 500 lions into the streets to enforce its coronavirus lockdown (there isn’t a lockdown, and there aren’t any lions). As Snopes put it:

No, but we don’t doubt the effectiveness of such a strategy.