Madagascar’s President Promised a Miracle Coronavirus Cure. It Didn’t Work

By Polygraph Andry RajoelinaPresident of Madagascar“Covid-Organics, improved traditional remedy based on artemisia & endemic plants, curative & preventive against #Covid19, is launched!”Source: Twitter, April 20, 2020FALSE On April 20, Madagascar’s president, Andry Rajoelina, announced the launch of a promised cure for COVID-19 to his nearly 100,000 Twitter followers. “Covid-Organics, improved traditional remedy based on artemisia & endemic plants, curative & preventive against #Covid19, is launched!” he wrote. The drink, developed by the

Skepticism, Not Sour Grapes, Defines West’s Reaction to Sputnik V

By Polygraph Sputnik NewsRussian state news outlet“On 11 August, Russia announced the world’s first vaccine for COVID-19, named ‘Sputnik V’ … International observers detail why breakthrough development has been met with either silence or rejection from the Western press.”Source: Sputnik, Aug. 11, 2020FALSE Last week, the Russian state-owned news outlet Sputnik published a story headlined: “Why ‘Sputnik Moment’ of Russia’s First COVID Vaccine Triggered ‘Sour Grapes’ Reaction in Western MSM.”

A Renegade South Korean Church Sparks Outbreak

By Polygraph Jeon Kwang-Hunpastor at Sarang Jeil Church“Our church took every preventive measure, but the (Moon) administration spread the coronavirus to prevent me from attending this rally.”Source: YouTube, August 17, 2020FALSE South Korea, once the world’s COVID-19 success story, is struggling with a sudden spike in coronavirus cases originating from a Seoul church. This new burst of patients has been linked to conservative pastor Rev. Jeon Kwang-hun’s Sarang Jeil Church (SJC) after

Belarus Prez Claims He Never Dismissed COVID-19, But Here’s Proof

By Polygraph Aleksandr LukashenkoPresident of Belarus“We have never denied that coronavirus existed. This is the way mass media has presented it. How can we deny what is really here?”Source: Belta Aug. 7, 2020FALSE On Aug. 7, just two days before voting in the Belarus presidential election, the state news agency Belta quoted President Aleksandr Lukashenko’s claim that he had never downplayed the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We have never

Bolivia’s Congress Says Chloride Dioxide Kills Coronavirus. It Also Kills People

By Polygraph Bolivian Chamber of Deputies“Citizens, and residents of the Bolivian territory, may use the Chlorine Dioxide Solution, as an alternative means, to prevent or treat the infection and the consequences caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).”Source:, Aug. 5, 2020DANGEROUS On Aug. 5, the Bolivian Chamber of Deputies approved legislation authorizing the emergency “manufacture, marketing, supply and use of chlorine dioxide solution for the prevention and treatment of coronavirus.” The Senate, the

Misinformation is Everybody’s Problem Now

By Joan Donovan and Claire Wardle, for Items Misinformation can be deadly. The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated that fact clearly and tragically. While the big tech companies have taken some steps to rein in misinformation and make credible organizations more visible, they lag far behind the pundits, scammers, and extremists who abuse trust on a global scale. It’s time for companies and researchers to take risks, make bold experiments, and rigorously test ways

People who engage with false news are hyper-concerned about truth. But they think it’s being hidden

By Tommy Shane, for NiemanLab “On Google, searching for ‘coronavirus facts’ gives you a full overview of official statistics and visualizations. That’s not the case for ‘coronavirus truth.’” Ed. note: Here at Nieman Lab, we’re long-time fans of the work being done at First Draft, which is working to protect communities around the world from harmful information (sign up for its daily and weekly briefings). First Draft recently launched a publication, Footnotes: “A dedicated

The pandemic has spawned disinformation campaigns that blend truth, lies, and sincere beliefs

By Kate Starbird, republished in NiemanLab “While a single disinformation campaign may have a specific objective — for instance, changing public opinion about a political candidate or policy — pervasive disinformation works at a more profound level to undermine democratic societies.” The COVID-19 pandemic has spawned an infodemic, a vast and complicated mix of information, misinformation and disinformation. In this environment, false narratives — that the virus was “planned,” that it originated as a bioweapon,

NATO’s approach to countering disinformation: a focus on COVID-19

By NATO Introduction COVID-19 has affected almost every person in every NATO state. It is vital that this global health crisis does not turn into a global security crisis as well. NATO has demonstrated that it can sustain its operations, missions and activities, and maintain readiness despite the pandemic. The Alliance is now preparing for a possible second wave of COVID-19 with an operation plan, a stockpile of medical supplies

I’ve been talking to conspiracy theorists for 20 years – here are my six rules of engagement

By Jovan Byford, for The Conversation With prospects of a COVID-19 vaccine looking up, attention is also turning to the problem of anti-vax ideas. According to a recent survey, one in six Britons would refuse a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available. Although vaccine hesitancy is a complex problem with multiple causes, the number of conspiracy theories circulating about the coronavirus do not help. The fight against COVID-19-related conspiracy theories will be fought on multiple fronts.

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