There seems to be no way to get rid of the WhatsApp hoaxes. On the other hand it is not a problem of WhatsApp, but of the hoaxes themselves, which have always existed.

Of course, the pervasiveness and the rapidity with which false alarms can spread today, information in part or completely misleading and poisoned meatballs of all kinds has no comparison.

Do you remember that audio from five years ago with which a mother warned her daughter of a certain attack in Rome? In that case, by the author’s own admission, it was an exaggerated and unfounded way to prevent her daughter from leaving the house after the Parisian attacks in 2015.

Other times operations of this type are invented on a healthy basis.

If the Coronavirus arrives on WhatsApp…, Unravel Malta

On the wave of apprehension for the Chinese coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, which is reaping infections and deaths in the popular republic with the first cases confirmed also in the rest of the world, they have always circulated on Facebook chat – used by over a billion and a half of users – two audio in which it is said that a Chinese citizen has just arrived at the emergency room in Lecce, recently returned from Whuan (the outbreak city of the epidemic, in the province of Hubei) who would be in very serious conditions and precisely hospitalized because of that same virus. Obviously none of this has happened. A reliable source to keep yourself informed is the website of the Higher Institute of Health, certainly not the whirlwind of messages forwarded on the Menlo Park chat.

Obviously, as Open says, the primary of the Lecce emergency room has denied everything. It was an investigation and not a Chinese citizen. Not sure what a female and a male voice explain in the two versions of the audio: «I would like to point out to everyone that this afternoon in the emergency room in Lecce, a very serious Chinese man with the virus was hospitalized as he had returned from 10 days from China and is affected. So first aid, if you can avoid going to the emergency room in Lecce it is better to avoid and go to other hospitals because there is now a danger here. It is confirmed, I tell you because I know it personally since my brother is in the emergency room ». The other is on the wrong line.

If the Coronavirus arrives on WhatsApp…, Unravel Malta

To these are also added a series of text messages with the same goal: to fuel coronavirus psychosis, spread anxieties and fake news, speculate on people’s fears and legitimate doubts. In these messages, on the contrary, Chinese-run shops and businesses are targeted, from households to restaurants run by Chinese or people of Chinese origin. Again, nothing more groundless. Still on the ISS website Silvio Brusaferro, the president, for example answered a series of frequently asked questions, including those on food issues: “The knowledge we have at the moment tells us that the transmission of this virus, it does not happen through food. In addition, the import of live animals or raw meat from China is prohibited in Europe”.

In short, it is better to stop for a moment, when you receive messages of this tenor, which evidently belong to the ubiquitous and always thriving chains of Sant’Antoni. It is imperative to avoid following them up . If you have any doubts, you can read up on reliable sources such as newspapers , institutional sites and scientific insights.