Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, is calling on constituents to have the COVID-19 information they are receiving fact checked by Full Fact.
Full Fact are the United Kingdom’s independent fact checking organisation. They have been working hard since the outbreak of COVID-19 to fact check claims and prevent the spread of misinformation online.
Full Fact have been fighting against a tide of false claims and exaggerations from social media users, as well as private messaging app users such as those who communicate via WhatsApp and some journalists in the mainstream media. False information risks people using ineffective or harmful treatments to overcome COVID-19, and taking inappropriate precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the disease.
Since January, Full Fact have published over 44 fact checks on claims relating to COVID-19. As Facebook’s UK partner for their Third Party Fact Checking programme, Full Fact have fact checked and corrected a large number of Facebook posts, often originating from WhatsApp communications.
False claims made by journalists that have been fact checked and corrected include:
- The false claim of a broadsheet columnist that children are immune to COVID-19, published by LBC
- The false claim that COVID-19 has been genetically engineered for “efficient spreading in the human population”, published by the Daily Express
- Incorrect heat maps displaying sulphur dioxide levels in Wuhan, published by the Daily Express, the Daily Mail, the Metro and The Sun
To stop the spread of misinformation, Full Fact have launched an online form where users can directly ask questions and share claims about COVID-19 that they would like to be fact checked. Their website also publishes all of their latest fact checks in relation to COVID-19.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“Misinformation is bad for us and our health.
“There are so many claims being made about COVID-19 online and in the mainstream media that it can be difficult to tell what is true and what is false.
“This is why it’s great that Full Fact have set up an online form for users to submit claims about COVID-19 that they would like to be fact checked.
“Knowledge is power and I think that one of the best ways we can help prevent the spread of the disease is by preventing the spread of misinformation, especially online.”