Researchers at Cardiff University find that people in the UK can spot fake news on COVID-19

Researchers at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture have found that the UK public can spot fake news about COVID-19, but but don’t realise the UK’s death toll is far higher than in many other countries. In a small-scale, exploratory study, Stephen Cushion, Nikki Soo, Maria Kyriakidou and Marina Morani surveyed 200 people and “found that while there is widespread rejection of the 5G conspiracy theory, many people do not realise the UK death rate is far higher than in other countries.”

The 5G conspiracy theory has also been circulating widely on African social media. It suggests that there’s a link between the deployment of this technology, and the spread of the new coronavirus. In some instances, this theory has also been linke to China, where the 5G technology is being deployed quickly.

At the Misinformation, Disinformation & False News in Africa Research Project, we are working on a multi-country study that will explore how the 5G conspiracy theory, as well as others related to China, are received by audiences in South Africa, Kenya and the United States. This is an NIHSS funded project, with additional funding from the University of Houston.

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