South Africa: Disinformation in a Time of Covid-19 - Weekly Trends in South Africa


The Covid-19 pandemic creates a perfect opportunity for those who wish to cause confusion, chaos and public harm, using misinformation and disinformation. This week we look at Covid-19 fatigue and its implications.

Week 21: Covid-19 fatigue

Through Real411, Media Monitoring Africa has been tracking disinformation trends on digital platforms since the end of March. Using the Real411 platform we have analysed disinformation trends which have largely focused on Covid-19. To date, 888 complaints have been submitted to the platform since March, 97% of which have been assessed by experts, and action taken.

Last week a Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) survey revealed that there is fatigue about Covid-19. Carin Runciman, associate professor at the Centre for Social Change, was quoted as saying: "The findings point to a worrying growth in pandemic fatigue."

There can be little doubt that as we approach the end of what has been at best a tumultuous year, and for most a spectacularly appalling year, it is hardly surprising that there is Covid fatigue. South Africa at the best of times offers more surprises and twists than a drunk butterfly seeking to deliver a chainsaw, which is to say we have epidemic levels of violence, child...

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