The British government has launched a campaign aimed at combating the spread of fake news on COVID-19, stressing the importance of fact-finding.
The campaign, held with the participation of Arab media professionals and social media pioneers, aims at boosting efforts to refute false news related to the pandemic and limit their spread.
It will also help guide the public to some of the reliable sources of information, including official health organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO).
The British Government’s Regional Information and Communication Center based in the British Embassy in Dubai said that the “Verify_The_News_Before_You_Believe_It” label would be used on the British Foreign Office’s social media Arabic platforms, including the British Foreign Office account on Twitter and Facebook.
The campaign will include a set of tips and methods that help the reader discern false information and fake news about the virus, by checking the sources from which the information is drawn, and whether it is reliable or not, in addition to reviewing the content before publishing it, especially on social media platforms.
The spokesperson for the British Government in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), Rosie Dyas, said the British government “takes the issue of combating false news seriously”, adding that she hoped the campaign would shed some light on the importance of verifying the information before believing it.
“As the virus (Covid-19) spreads, false rumors and news are increasing. Both are dangerous, and constitute a threat to life in one way or another, and it is important that we contribute to limiting their spread,” Dyas stressed.