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Lies about the coronavirus - why fake news is thriving right now

It's a bit like the pandemic: Fake news about the corona virus is currently spreading just as quickly as the pathogen itself. Rumors are fueled via social media and in private chat groups - sometimes out of ignorance or an (understandable) naive hope, often out of malice.

Big and small lies

There seem to be almost no limits to the crude imaginations of those who invent the lies. Some fakes point to a closed conspiracy theory: for example, that the virus was bred and then released in a laboratory in Wuhan, China, or that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is said to have financed the development of Sars-CoV-2.

But the big wheel is not always turned. Alleged cures for the Covid-19 disease caused by the coronavirus are also making the rounds. It is advised to drink the corrosive bleaching chemical chlorine dioxide to kill the virus, or to put a sliced ‚Äč‚Äčonion in the apartment, which will pull the pathogen out of the air like a magnet.

All complete nonsense, sometimes even dangerous to health. "I think the small false reports are more serious than the big conspiracy theories," says communication scientist Tilman Klawier from the University of Hohenheim. Because they affect everyday life.