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AFP Fact Check articles of the week

July 31, 2020

AFP Fact Check articles of the week

AFP’s fact-check service debunks misinformation spread online. Here are some of our recent fact-checks:

1. Trump amplifies COVID-19 misinformation

US President Donald Trump used Twitter to spread footage of a doctor who claimed a combination of medicines including hydroxychloroquine will cure COVID-19. Social media companies were left scrambling to remove the clip, which contained multiple false claims. There is currently no cure for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, health experts say.

2. ‘Infectious’ corpses

A Facebook post claimed that a corpse of a COVID-19 victim was 100 times more “toxic” 72 hours after death. It went on to claim that because undertakers are not always able to bury bodies within this prescribed period, funerals have become hotspots for further infections. The claim is false; corpses do not get more infectious over time, experts say, and the rise in infections after funerals is a result of mourners infecting one another.

3. Chengdu consulate closure

A photo was shared in multiple posts on Facebook, Twitter and Weibo alongside a claim it shows staff from the US consulate in Chengdu “cheering for China” after Beijing closed the diplomatic outpost on July 24, 2020. The photo, however, shows United Airlines staff at an airport in February 2020 after flights were suspended to parts of China due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. Face mask safety

Multiple Facebook and Twitter posts shared tens of thousands of times claimed that wearing a face mask compromises a person’s immune system. Wearing a face mask, however, does not negatively impact the immune system, according to multiple health experts and health authorities.

5. Indian student’s ‘coronavirus treatment’

Multiple posts shared repeatedly on Facebook and Twitter claimed that the World Health Organization (WHO) approved an Indian student’s ginger juice “home remedy” as a treatment for COVID-19. But the WHO said the posts were “fake news”, adding “there are no medicines that have been shown to prevent or cure [COVID-19]”.

1. http://u.afp.com/388e

2. http://u.afp.com/covidcorpses

3. http://u.afp.com/UnitedAirlines

4. http://u.afp.com/ImmuneSystem

5. http://u.afp.com/StudentRemedy

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Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.