Madonna leads celebrity vogue for Covid-19 conspiracy theories
Singer’s claim vaccine is being concealed is latest example of stars spreading falsehoods during pandemic
A study by researchers at the Reuters Institute at Oxford University found most engagement with coronavirus falsehoods came via social media posts by politicians, celebrities and influencers.
“Rather than being completely fabricated, much of the misinformation in our sample involves various forms of reconfiguration where existing and often true information is spun, twisted, recontextualised or reworked,” said the report.
Baybars Örsek, director of the International Fact-Checking Network, a unit of the Poynter Institute, said celebrities should be mindful of their “amplification capacities” around falsehoods.
“Covid-19 has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths around the world and spreading misinformation on cures, vaccination and causes of the disease hurts the public’s trust,” she said.