Health misinformation: How we can push back on conspiracies and unverified advice during a crisis

At the time we started working on this briefing, news that a new virus was claiming lives in the Chinese city of Wuhan was just breaking. By the time we completed it, the new coronavirus had spread across most of the world. Entire countries went on lockdown, with businesses shuttering up, and the public retreating indoors. But while things were coming to a standstill on the outside, the rumour mill went into overdrive. An avalanche of conspiracies, home-made remedies, and unsubstantiated DO’s and DON’Ts circulated across social, and some traditional,…

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ANALYSIS: What does the law say about face masks in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya?

Street scenes and shopping malls have changed across Africa. In a matter of weeks communities have adopted a new defence in the fight against Covid-19: face masks.  Health authorities and governments around the world have urged people not to buy and wear medical masks to avoid creating a shortage for those who need them most – health workers. But with the available evidence suggesting that simple cloth masks can play a role in slowing the spread of the new coronavirus, many authorities have taken to instructing citizens to mask up…

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Members of Philadelphia City Council Apologize for 1985 MOVE Bombing, MOVE 9 Member Is Skeptical: ‘What Good Is an Apology Without the Action Behind It’

Eleven members of Philadelphia’s City Council apologized for the infamous MOVE bombing of 1985 that left 11 people dead, including five children. On May 13, 1985, Philadelphia police dropped a bomb on the roof of a rowhouse on Osage Avenue, a makeshift headquarters for MOVE, a Black liberation group. The group was founded in 1972 by John Africa, who promoted a “back to nature” lifestyle. All MOVE members took the last name Africa and lived in a communal home. Members of Philadelphia’s city council apologized for dropping a bomb on…

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ANALYSIS: WhatsApp group admins – be careful about information shared

IN SUMMARY WhatsApp group admins can be held liable for what is posted on the group – simply adding a disclaimer and sitting back is not enough. An admin has to take reasonable steps to ensure the group is not abused. But if someone wanted to sue or report the admin, they would have to show that the admin did not take any steps, once they knew the information was false, to stop the information from spreading. A message circulating on WhatsApp and Facebook in South Africa urges WhatsApp group…

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South Africa’s exercise restrictions similar to French capital but stricter than UK

South Africa’s government announced a strict national lockdown in mid-March 2020 to slow the spread of Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. People were only allowed to leave their homes to get medical care, buy food or collect social grants. On 1 May, the government eased some of the restrictions. Outside exercise is now allowed but it must take place within a 5 kilometre radius of your home between 6 and 9 am.  President Cyril Ramaphosa justified this restriction in his 4 May newsletter.  “Limitations on movement are…

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Lil Yachty Is Selling Designer Toilet Paper For $500

Lil Yachty hopped on his Instagram page and shared a photo of some designer A Bathing Ape toilet paper, which he’s selling for $500. “As u all may have heard, I went broke a while back so I’ve decided to flip designer toilet paper as a new career…,” he writes in the caption. “So bape toilet… source: https://according2hiphop.com/lil-yachty-is-selling-designer-toilet-paper-for-500/

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