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Title: Fake news affecting the adherence of national response measures during the COVID-19 lockdown period: The experience of Vietnam.
Authors: Thao, Nguyen Thi Phuong
Cao, Nguyen Duy
Anh, Nguyen Tung Trong
Keywords: Fake news
Response measures
Issue Date: 2020
Series/Report no.: Frontiers in Public Health;pp. 1 - 3
Abstract: COVID-19 has severely affected people's health and well-being, including all economic sectors, tourism, culture, and education. Along with combating the COVID-19 epidemic, fighting the “infodemic,” which refers to the rapid spread of misinformation, related to the disease on the social media is also of concern, because fake news spreads faster and easier than this virus, and just as dangerous (1). This causes anxiety among public and motivate them to follow or believe in the unreliable information, making the containment of epidemic more complicated when raising the uncertainty and unnecessary behavior of public, and hindering the collaboration and unity in combating the epidemic (2). --- In Vietnam, the role of press and social media in spreading the government's information regarding COVID-19 pandemic is undeniable; however, fake news phenomenon is still substantial. A report of the Ministry of Information and Communications revealed that from 01/02 to 05/31/2020, the press had published a total of 560,048 news and articles about COVID-19 translation. According to the statistics of the police force, from the onset of the Covid-19 epidemic to the middle of March 2020, there were nearly 300,000 news articles on cyberspace, posts on websites, blogs, forums, and almost 600,000 news, articles, videos and clips related to the disease posted on social networks (3). When Vietnam entered a “new normal” state after April 17, the rate of news articles related to the COVID-19 epidemic was still maintained by media and radio agencies around 28–40% of news and articles on recovery, economic development but not subjective in disease prevention (3). In the first 5 months of 2020, there have been nearly 17 million mentions in the Vietnamese cyberspace (status lines, comments) related to the COVID-19 epidemic situation in Vietnam (3). However, all of these swift measures were not enough to regain the public's trust and stop the rapid spreading of fake news through the population. There were various news, articles with unverified, distorted, false content that attracted millions of comments and shares. Security authorities have verified and treated 654 cases of reporting fake news, sanctioned administratively more than 146 people (4). Cyberspace is a favorable environment for fake news given that 64 million Vietnamese are Internet users, as well as 58 million people have at least one social network site account (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, or Zalo) (5).
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