Misinformation, conspiracy theories run rampant online during COVID-19 pandemic

May 27, 2020

ABC News Cleveland logo

From 5G cell towers to billionaire Bill Gates, conspiracy theories and misinformation have run rampant during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it is hardly a new phenomenon, in the instant information age, the issue of widely-disseminated false or misleading information on social media has certainly gotten worse, media experts and researchers said.

More than any other widespread disease, the coronavirus pandemic has truly unfolded online. In today's hyper-digital world, information and its nemesis -- misinformation -- have both flooded social media like water coming from a fire hose. One week in early May, however, trounces them all: the release of the 'Plandemic', a slickly-produced video that falsely claimed a group of well-to-do and powerful people was using the virus to profit and gain even more power. Featuring discredited scientist Judy Mikovits, the 'Plandemic' video widely outpaced any single video on social media in early May, according to data from CrowdTangle, a social media analytic tool.

Read more