Groundless, sensational information is circulated in connection with the coronavirus. The number of fake news on social media has increased. Experts say that the dissemination of misinformation in connection with the disease is more harmful than the illness itself.
How can we evaluate the behavior of traditional and social media in the spread of information related to the virus?
Chairman of the New Generation Journalists' Union Arif Aliyev, founder of the "Ayna" newspaper Elchin Shikhli, editor-in-chief of the "Azpost.info" online newspaper Khagani Safaroghlu and expert in social networks Sanan Najafov discussed the issue on AzTV's "Main topic" talk-show presented by Rufat Hamzayev.
Elchin Shikhli said that if official institutions deliver information fast and operatively, it will be much easier to prevent the spread of rumours: "The disinformation about the coronavirus is more dangerous than the disease itself. Social networks reflect the democratic atmosphere. However, to prevent the information gap in this regard, official institutions should provide official information non-stop so that there is no room for extra talks."
Arif Aliyev highlighted that there is a problem with the reliability of sources and classification of information by the public: "Media and social media should take a more responsible approach towards the issue. Technologies for the fight against fake news should be applied, but not the Prosecutor's Office. The biggest threat of fake news is that it is the incorrect interpretation of the truth. Secondly, fake news is circulated in Azerbaijan mainly from overseas. The fake news spread from our internal sources is nothing compared to the one disseminated from abroad. Last year, the U.S. allocated 300 mln USD to the fight against this kind of information."
Expert in social media Sanan Najafov does not believe that the coronavirus exists. The expert said: "Social media has created a show about "mad cow", "bird flu", "Ebola" and other viruses.