Sunvoice

Fake News And Rumour Mongering Goes Viral Again

Too many people getting hyped up about the mysterious illness surrounding the USA couple… but making themselves look like fools in the end.
11 Jun 2019 13:36
Fake News And Rumour Mongering  Goes Viral Again
James Paul with his wife, Jane Michelle Canalog Paul.

Editorial:

Social media was strewn with everything from Ebola, to gas poisoning to assassination following the death of a USA couple last week.

Yet again we had those who thrive in such situations flood the spaces of what they thought happened.

It made Denarau, one of Fiji’s tourism hotspots, seem a health hazard area and this was done simply to destabilise the tourism industry.

These people, who were active during the general elections and then lay dormant, were waiting for such opportunities to come their way, and this incident was right up their alley.

The time had come for them to awake from that dormant stage, pounce on this health issue and then begin their rumour mongering works.

Believe it or not we have people right around the world who actually take this up as a sort of hobby.

Let’s take it from the beginning when the couple, Michelle and David Paul, first jetted into the country.

If they had contracted this mysterious illness overseas, it would have affected those onboard the flight as well.

More local people would have been either seriously ill or dead by now and it would have had a rippling effect on families. Or perhaps they had contracted whatever sickness, but this had not really manifested itself until they got here.

Of course, the health authorities did well to isolate those who had come in contact with the USA couple.

Rumours, gossip and fake news – terms which are familiar to us and while many may consider than harmless, it can actually affect one’s health as trying to separate fact from fiction could bring you down – both mentally and physically.

These people do not care if these rumours ruin someone’s reputation, or in this case Fiji’s tourism industry, for if this was blown out of proportion, the industry would have taken some time to get back on its feet.

These fake news merchants share posts from someone on social media telling people not to go near the Lautoka hospital because there was a deadly virus there – well that person is sure looking like a fool now.

But it goes to show how hyped up people get about spreading fake news and making themselves look like heroes who saved mankind.

On the other hand, congratulations must go to the medical centre that first handled the cases and then the government hospital that isolated the five locals and cleared them when the time was right.

This showed the capabilities of our health system, both in the private sector and at the national level.

Let us just wait for the test results to come back from overseas and then everyone will know what the mysterious illness was.

The truth is on its way.

Feedbackcharles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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