Fake News & The Corona Virus
Junkee has compiled a list of fake news about the virus.
I single this one out because of its racial overtones. Read the full story here
A number of posts are circulating on Facebook telling a similar story of busloads of people raiding small towns for groceries. The story claims that people travel from town to town and “leave practically nothing” all to resell the items in their own small businesses at an inflated price.
People in small towns are obviously worried and mad that they’re being inconvenienced by people who are just “in the trade of making profit”. However there is no proof that this is even happening.
There has been no solid proof of these “buses” and “vans”, despite so many anecdotal stories claiming it’s happening. A Christian’s Bus Ballarat spokesperson spoke to The Courier and explained that it would be “the worst advertising” for any bus company to allow this to happen.
Plus, a number of small town IGA’s across Melbourne have also said they’ve not experienced this serial grocery hoarding at their stores.
While some small-town stores, like the M&A Butchery in Wilberforce, have seen an influx of customers in recent days, it’s likely not a case of hoarding for profit. The increase in customers is likely a result of big city store customers facing empty supermarket shelves too.
The family run M&A Butchery told the Sydney Morning Herald that the new customers visiting the store are genuine buyers. “They’re coming from everywhere because they’re telling me hardly anyone’s got meat,” Dean Diasinos said. So, no. There’s no need to stress out about “resellers” buying up all of your towns groceries.
The fake news being spread about the virus is doing just as much, if not more damage than the virus itself (notwithstanding the deaths). The virus will eventually run its course. The damage done by the campaigns of disinformation, gleefully published as legit news by the Murdoch empire and friends and spread even further via social media, will leave a more lasting and damaging scar on the public psyche.