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MoD team to tackle COVID-19 scams and fake news
Amid the current coronavirus crisis, the government is working to combat the spread of misinformation, with the MOD sending a team to the Cabinet Office to help prevent the circulation of misinformation related to the pandemic.
The group – part of the MoD’s COVID Support Force – will help to identify and tackle fake online news about the pandemic and will also try to stall the growing numbers of fraudulent phishing scams.
At the same time, the government’s WhatsApp coronavirus information service has been expanded to better tackle the myths and disinformation surrounding the virus. To complement this effort, the app has itself introduced new, stricter limits on message forwarding in a bid to try to prevent the spread of fake news. The popular messaging service says it is also testing a feature that would offer users more information about the frequently forwarded messages that reach their devices.
The type of misinformation that has been spread during the outbreak has covered a wide range of subjects, including the role of the military and conspiracy theories surrounding the new 5G network. In addition, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister has said that ministers are working with social media organisations to ‘press for further action to stem the spread of falsehood and rumours’.
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