Fake news causes unnecessary panic

I would like to write in response to the report, ‘Viral false news debunked’, published in the Sunday Bulletin on May 31, 2020.

The authorities have been doing a stellar job in keeping the lid on COVID-19 infection in the country. The majority of the populace, I believe, is doing the best in supporting the government’s efforts.

However, like all societies, there are always a few bad apples.

Take the viral fake news for example. It was unnecessary and caused a lot of panic in a community that is still reeling in from the unprecedented outbreak that has essentially changed our societal structure for ever.

Perhaps the person who started the rumour intended for it to be a joke, but it got out of hand.

So should we point fingers solely at the fake news starter?

Surely, no matter how well constructed a fake news piece is, it can only achieve a viral status with the help of an audience that is willing to forward the information to friends and family.

From this perspective, are we instead to blame for perpetuating it with our incessant need for all things sensational?

Or are we so distrusting of the authorities that we would rather believe that they are always trying to hide things from us?

Despite recording zero cases for almost a month, the government still continues to update us on the latest developments on COVID-19.

It is time that we start to trust that the authorities have our best interest at heart.

The Conversationalist