Daily Debunker: How To Weather an ‘Infodemic’

Featured on Snopes today: An "infodemic" of rumors and misinformation threatens to overwhelm our fact-checkers, China reportedly suffers "outbreak" of hantavirus disease, and more.

13 Articles
  • Published 25 March 2020
13 Articles

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As governments fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Snopes is fighting an “infodemic” of rumors and misinformation, so much so that it threatens to overwhelm our small team.

Fact-checkers cannot operate as if this is just another breaking news event. We cannot ask our employees to ramp up productivity at the same time the rest of their lives spin out into more distressing states. It is our responsibility to put their health and safety first.

For that reason, in addition to encouraging social distancing (we were already a 100% remote work company), Snopes is taking steps to help support our staff during this difficult time.

Snopes on COVID-19 Fact-Checking

The coronavirus pandemic exposes just how under-resourced we have let the fact-checking industry become.

Snopes.com
Does China Have a ‘New’ Outbreak of Hantavirus?

Hantavirus has been known to exist for decades.

Mostly False
Did DOJ Propose Rollback of Defendants’ Rights During Pandemic?

Any changes affecting constitutional guarantees afforded federal criminal defendants in the U.S. would ultimately be up to Congress.

True
Did Kim Jong Un Order North Korea’s First Coronavirus Patient To Be Executed?

Rumors from North Korea are notoriously difficult to fact check.

Unproven
Did Russia Release 500 Lions To Enforce COVID-19 Lockdown?

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

False
Did Kenny Rogers Donate Half His Estate to Help Trump’s Reelection?

A routine review of content labeled satire.

Labeled Satire
Was COVID-19 Discovered in the US and South Korea on the Same Day?

These two countries took different approaches in the early days of the pandemic and saw vastly different results.

True
Is Corona the Patron Saint of Plagues?

St. Corona was likely martyred sometime in the 170s, but it's doubtful she was the saint of pandemics.

False
Are Hydroxychloroquine, Azithromycin ‘Game Changers’ in Fight Against COVID-19?

U.S. President Donald Trump presented the results of an extremely limited study to suggest a largely untested cure for COVID-19.

News
‘Good Read From An Immunologist’ Post Misstates Reasons for COVID-19’s Virulence

A viral Facebook post argues the mutation rate of the coronavirus is responsible for its pandemic spread. There is no scientific support for that notion.

News
Texas’ Lieutenant Governor Says US Should Get ‘Back to Work’

“Let’s get back to work. Let’s get back to living. Let’s be smart about it,” Dan Patrick said. “And those of us who are 70 plus, we’ll take care of ourselves. But don’t sacrifice the country.”

AP News
Judge Orders Environmental Review of Dakota Access Pipeline

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg wrote that the easement approval for the pipeline remains “highly controversial” under federal environmental law.

AP News