Published on 10 Oct 2021

Messaging app chat groups a catchment for Covid-19 misinformation on ivermectin, vaccines

The Sunday Times, page A11 -

Checks by The Sunday Times found at least 17 Telegram groups and channels spreading Covid-19 misinformation. The groups have about 1,000 to 14,000 members each. Academics told The Sunday Times that false information about Covid-19 is tricky to tackle because of the abundance of conflicting claims by medical professionals, readily available online and shared within social circles, and anxiety about the rising number of community cases. Ignoring someone who shares fake news about Covid-19 on a family group chat can be harmful, said Assoc Prof Edson C. Tandoc Jr, director of the NTU Centre for Information Integrity and the Internet. He said: "It is possible that some seniors share information not because they believe in it, but because they are unsure, and they hope that someone may vet this information for them.