Over 500 fake news sites identified

False information that the “Fake Off” section of 20 minutes hulls daily. The American start-up
NewsGuard publishes, this Wednesday, an investigation into the online misinformation linked to the coronavirus epidemic, of which we present the first results exclusively. The company’s experts analyzed 6,730 sites that present themselves as news sites and “whose articles represent 95% of online engagement in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and France. Italy “.

Verdict: “519 published infoxes on Covid-19, which means that more than 7% of all the most popular news sites publish this dangerous content. Of this total, 339 sites are American. Most of the false information, “with potentially fatal consequences,” relates to vaccination and alleged treatments, NewsGuard points out. “Messenger RNA vaccines modify DNA”, “The Covid-19 vaccine made 97% of people vaccinated infertile”, airlines “have advised people who have received the Covid-19 vaccine to avoid to take the plane because of a risk of formation of blood clots ”… So many assertions refuted by the facts… and the columns of fact-checking of the whole world.

More frequented disinformation sites than reliable sites

Another alarming observation from NewsGuard: “Sites relaying fake treatments and promoting false claims about the dangers of vaccines often generate much more traffic than globally reliable sites. For example, “a site controlled by anti-vax activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has garnered more engagement (likes, shares, comments) over the past 90 days than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States or that the American institutes of health, points out the start-up.

The company – which markets a “responsible media advertising” solution – stresses the responsibility of advertisers in funding sites spreading fake news: “Brands unwittingly spend $ 2.6 billion each year placing their ads on misinformation sites. “

20 seconds of context

20 minutes has been a partner of NewsGuard within the framework of the #VaxFacts campaign, launched in February 2021 with the support of other major media such as Time, La Repubblica Where Euronews. For several months, NewsGuard has thus made available to the public free of charge its HealthGuard service, allowing Internet users to assess the reliability of the information sites they consult on subjects related to vaccination or health.

Janelle B. Smith

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