DAP: Counter Covid-19 fake news with official ‘go-to’ source

Julian Tan.

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KUCHING, Oct 26: An official and convenient ‘go-to-place’ where the public can have easy access to Covid-19 hotspots is the only proven way to curb the spread of fake news.

This is the view of Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman’s Special Assistant Julian Tan, adding that this could also protect the confidentiality of individuals involved and prevent damage to related small businesses in Sarawak.

Tan also asserted that the revelation of vague information on affected individuals can be damaging as well as it could be twisted and end up untrue.

“Even vague and ‘half-bake’ information can be equally damaging or worse, as it can quickly get twisted and spread at speed, making it more difficult for the public to identify verified facts and advice from trusted sources.

“An official ‘go-to-place’ will not just gain people confident over time as a trusted source of information, the government can also control how the information can be better positioned as not to raise an unwarranted response,” he explained in a statement today.

The recent increase of local transmission Covid-19 cases in Kuching and the circulation of locations visited by the patients on social media has, to some extent, raised some voices from the ground.

The once tourism hotspot in Kuching – Carpenter Street – is now the spotlight in Covid-19 news because of the spread of information regarding an infected Covid-19 patient which turnedd out to be fake.

Tan explained that this has provoked social stigma and discriminatory behaviour against people who are perceived to have been in contact with the virus.

“Therefore it is imperative for the government to be ahead of the game continuously.

“The disclosing of information on locations affected via an official channel is able to empower the public to take precautions and, at the same time, curb the spread of fake news that harms individuals and businesses,” said Tan.-DayakDaily