Por el mar corren las liebres durante la pandemia del coronavirus: hoaxes, myths and rumors about COVID-19


The XXI edition of the Matinal de la Evolució that took place on May 16 in an online edition was dedicated to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was coordinated by Juli Peretó, professor in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology at the Faculty of Biological Sciences of the University of Valencia. In the monographic session David Alonso, Mireia Coscollà, Xavier López-Labrador and Carolina Moreno participated.

Carolina Moreno, professor of journalism and Main Researcher of ScienceFlows group, analyzed throughout the day how the COVID-19 pandemic has made the concept of an infodemic come true. In her presentation, Carolina Moreno offered the preliminary data of the study on the hoaxes that circulate through the WhatsApp that ScienceFlows started when the state of alarm was decreed in Spain due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

As she explained, the narratives of the documents analyzed so far (May 16, 2020) generally show a break in the canon: the videos, audios, and text chains released are very extensive. Additionally, image quality ranges from well-edited video formats to low-quality amateur videos.

The Bad News about Fake News

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, communication scientists around the world have agreed that this is the first time that the concept of an infodemic has come true. Furthermore, disinformation epidemics are not harmless, they are caused by the dissemination and spread of toxic information that puts people’s health at risk. As authors such as Levy, Neil (Levy, Neil (2017) “The Bad News About Fake News.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 6 (8), 20-36) have already analyzed, fake news has repercussions beyond what we normally think. Thus, they have consequences on our behaviour even when the information it contains is corrected.

You can access the slides through this link