We are facing a crucial time as a country. Every piece of information is vital for everyone of us to stay informed and educated about what is happening in our surroundings, but sometimes official channels or news source give people insufficient information. This can put them at risk of being exposed to rumours and misleading information from online blogs. It is now especially dangerous as the country is facing a pandemic that is taking so many lives. At the early stages of Covid-19 there were arguments that the virus is not real and that the government was trying to reduce the population hence they created the virus, or that the virus originates from the radiation of 5G towers. All this misleading information was found on social media.
Many people from townships don’t have access to official news channels that give verified detail to what is really going on in and around the world, rather they have SABC news channels which has been giving people limited information throughout the pandemic, at a certain intervals unlike other pay TV news channels like DSTV dedicated an entire channel to giving information about about COVID-19.
Some of the working class people come from poor squatter camps and don’t even have TVs in their homes. Their only news source might be WhatsApp or Facebook posts that some people create for themselves to mislead other people.
This issue of fake news did not start now during the coronavirus pandemic but has been around for a long time. Little has been done to address the matter. People need to verify information that they read online and avoid sharing unverified information.
This article was submitted on 23 July 2020. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.