At least 800 people died around the world from misinformation regarding coronavirus in the first three months of this year, the researchers say.
A study published in the American Journal of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said about 5,800 people were hospitalized due to misinformation on social media.
Many people die from drinking methanol or alcohol cleaning products.
They mistakenly believed that the products were the medicines to cure the viruses.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has previously stated that the “pandemic” surrounding Covid-19 spread like a virus, with conspiracy theories, rumors and cultural discrimination all contributing to the cause. death and injury.
False information comes at the cost of life
Many victims have followed advice like reliable medical information – such as eating a lot of garlic or eating large amounts of vitamins – as a way to prevent infection, the study authors said. Others drink substances such as cow urine.
These actions all have “potentially serious effects” on their health, the researchers said.
The article concludes that international agencies, governments, and social media platforms have a responsibility to fight this “pandemic”, but technology companies have been criticized for their slow response. and patchwork. In the UK, laws governing online harm may be several years away.
Private BBC investigations have found links to assaults, arson and deaths resulting from false information about the virus, and talk with doctors, experts and victims about the experience. their.
Online rumors lead to mob attacks in India and mass poisonings in Iran. Telecommunication engineers have been intimidated and hacked and telephone poles have been taken down in the UK and other countries because conspiracy theories have been incubated and amplified online.
Social media also helped scammers take advantage of the pandemic, sell ineffective badges aimed at repelling the virus, and urge followers to part with money in exchange for “mineral supplements. substance “, in fact – bleach.
Conspiracy threat to the Covid-19 vaccine
As vaccines emerge, there is an additional threat that anti-vaccine campaigners will use the platform provided by social media to convince people not to defend themselves.
Despite social media companies removing or labeling false information about vaccines, a recent poll in the US found that 28% of Americans believe that Bill Gates wants to use the vaccine for microbiology. pulse in person.
Doctors told the BBC’s anti-misinformation team that the success of an effective coronavirus vaccine could be completely ruined by misinformation.