Updated: Aug 27
DON'T SPREAD GERMS OR LIES: TIPS ON HOW TO AVOID SHARING DISINFORMATION AND SCAMS ABOUT CORONAVIRUS AND COVID-19 Right now, we all find ourselves trying to survive and cope in this new, surreal and scary world in the throes of a pandemic. One of the ways many of us try to help our friends and family is to share information about how to deal with this health crisis. We all have probably shared posts that are false or misleading. Some are benign (like the dolphins returning to Venice...sigh), and others are potentially dangerous (i.e. the one from "Stanford Doctors" about preventing the virus by gargling every 15 minutes, etc.). Unfortunately, scammers and criminals are also taking advantage of people's fears and hopes, especially the elderly. Here are some tips and resources you can use to avoid sharing false coronavirus information:
Do not share cut-and-pasted posts -- even if they are from your most trusted friends or family.
Only share news or information directly sourced from trusted news sources or public health, government or medical facility websites (such as those we linked in box above).
Never give out your personal financial information online, on the phone, etc. -- these may be phishing scams. READ MORE.
Don't click on links from sources that you don't know (see above). Instead, open a new tab and Google or search for the link yourself (like the CDC, etc.)
Ignore the President's tweets. Seriously. #FakeNews
Please share this with friends and family -- especially when they send you something that seems suspicious or too good (or bad) to be true. #spreadtruthnotgerms
Here are a few places you can check out information: Factcheck, Snopes, FTC. Factcheck: How Not to Get Spun By Internet Rumors Factcheck: Debunking Fake News Factcheck: Coronavirus and Covid-19 Snopes: The Coronavirus Collection: Fact Checking COVID-19 Snopes: Debunking Coronavirus Prevention and Treatment Claims FTC: Tips to Avoid Coronavirus Relief Check Scams More on Coronavirus Relief Check Scams News Bias: Media Bias/Fact Check We also wanted to share these articles shared by Indivisible with the recommendations of experts and epidemiologists about what we can do going forward to stay safe and healthy and do our part to limit the spread of the virus. This interactive article from the New York Times about what each person can do about coronavirus right now is a great overview to share with family and friends about the importance of preparedness and social distancing. (NYT’s COVID-19 coverage is free to all readers, but you may need to create a free account to log in.) We also found this piece from The Atlantic helpful in outlining where we are now and what the most likely outcomes for how this pandemic will resolve are, as well as what it will take to get there. Short answer? It’s going to take a lot of cooperation, mobilization of resources, and preparedness to mitigate the worst possible outcomes. We hope you’ve been staying healthy and safe. Thank you to those of you who have called your legislators, joined calls and webinars, and sent in your questions and comments. As we all adjust together to our new normal and our lives change to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and protect ourselves and our families, Indivisibles all over the country have once again risen to the occasion and shown that we know how to respond in the face of sudden, seemingly insurmountable challenges. However you’re processing and responding to this, we’re grateful you’re a part of our network of changemakers who know how to take care of each other.
And whatever you do, keep your cat away from your computer...just checking that you read the whole post!