'CoronaJihad': Fake news in India accuses Muslims of deliberately spreading Covid-19

The roughly 200 million Muslims living in India are often used as scapegoats by the Hindu nationalists who make up Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (the BJP or the “Indian People’s Party”). One of the BJP’s core beliefs is Hindutva, an ideology seeking to establish the hegemony of Hindus and the Hindu way…

The Debate – How contagious? Conspiracies, lies and the Covid-19 'infodemic'

Issued on: 12/05/2020 – 17:13Modified: 12/05/2020 – 17:13 From anti-science conspiracy theories to state-sponsored disinformation, the United Nations warns that an “infodemic” of half-truths and falsehoods is undermining the effort to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic. How is social media driving anti-lockdown protests and just how much traction are they getting? François Picard and Deutsche Welle’s…

Are people flouting social distancing rules? How photos can distort perspective

This photo of the seafront promenade in Bournemouth in the United Kingdom, posted in a Daily Mail article on 26 April, infuriated some locals as it appeared to show large numbers of people flouting social distancing rules and thronging the boardwalk. Comments lambasted people out walking as “selfish” and said that they would be to…

Debunked: The fake videos showing Africans retaliating against Chinese discrimination

Since early April, many Africans living in Guangzhou, China, have been barred from their homes or been forcibly evicted because of rumours that the African community brought new cases of coronavirus to China. The FRANCE 24 Observers team interviewed several victims of this discrimination and wrote about it in this article.

Conspiracy theories and fake news: Fighting the Covid-19 ‘infodemic’

Disinformation and conspiracy theories surrounding the global coronavirus pandemic have flooded the internet – often with an additional nudge from world leaders and celebrities – presenting a challenge for health authorities, social media platforms, journalists, fact-checkers and concerned citizens worldwide.

Debunked: Fake videos purport to show violence against Africans in China

The FRANCE 24 Observers team spoke to some of the people who faced discrimination, hostility and even temporary homelessness because of these rumours and published their stories in this article. But some videos that purport to show violence and discrimination towards Africans in China are circulating online are fake: they’re old videos and have nothing to…

An infectious disease expert debunks COVID-19 remedies circulating on African social media

Videos offering up homemade tinctures meant to keep a person safe from the coronavirus have been circulating widely on social media in French-speaking Africa. Our readers brought several of these videos to our attention. In turn, we showed them to Khadidiatou Bâ Fall, a specialist in infectious diseases who used to head up the infectious…

The Kenyan government did not recruit Maasai hunters to make sure people respected lockdown

The video shows a man wearing traditional Maasai clothing running down the street armed with a whip. He hits out at several people who are standing in groups and chatting. As he whips them, he shouts “One metre!” in reference to social distancing measures put in place by many countries to contain the spread of…