WhatsApp warning: Millions of users at risk now as coronavirus tips shared on popular app

Misleading and incorrect coronavirus advice and fake tips on how to cure yourself of COVID-19 have already reached millions of people via phone apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook. The BBC's Zeinab Badawi has gone through some of the most obvious ones with the aim to debunk them and urge people to check their sources before sharing misinformation across their social platforms. 

She explained: "If a message is sent to a WhatsApp group of 20, then each of them shares it with 20 other people and this happens five times, it can reach more than three million people very quickly.

"Untruths can take many forms.

"One of the most common we're seeing is copied and pasted messages being passed around on WhatsApp or in Facebook groups containing bad advice or fake cures.

"And because these are shared by a friend or trusted source, it's not obvious who wrote these messages in the first place.

"Has the photo or image been taken out of context?

"If you're not sure, then maybe it's fake.

"And you can stop that information from doing harm by not sharing it any further."

In another example that was shared by millions on Facebook, a picture of a lion walking the streets of Moscow in Russia claimed Vladimir Putin had released wild animals on the streets of the Russian capital to ensure people would stay inside. 

The picture was, of course, fake. 

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