A jet ski vacation during the coronavirus lockdown? Online liars want to make you mad at politicians

Publication Year
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

In April, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson got so sick from COVID-19 that his father said he thought his son “almost took one for the team.” After Johnson was hospitalized with a fever and other symptoms, a seemingly trusted media source published some shocking news: the prime minister had died. At first-glance, the tweet appeared to be from the BBC’s breaking news team. Alas, @BBCbreaki is not the venerable public media network’s breaking news feed; that would be @BBCBreaking. Johnson pulled through and was discharged from the hospital one week after being admitted. Politicians like the prime minister, however, will likely continue to be the target of COVID-19-related misinformation, victims of the so-called information pandemic, or infodemic, that has spread as far and wide as the coronavirus itself and shows no signs of abating any time soon.

Publication Topic
Politics and Public Opinion
Publication Type
Policy Article