On 15 February 2020, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that “we’re not just fighting an epidemic; we’re fighting an infodemic”.¹ This much was true and remains so two years later. At any given time, much is talked about the novel coronavirus and the vaccines for it – some truthful, some less so, and some false.
Worryingly is how no one truly knows the extent of Covid-19 misinformation circulating online. Indications, however, can be drawn from the number of fact-checks published worldwide. For example, the International Fact Checking Network’s (IFCN) Coronavirus Facts Alliance (CFA) has published more than 16,000 fact-checks from 86 countries since its formation in January 2020.² This means that on average, CFA published at least 640 fact-checks a month, 160 fact-checks a week, or 22 fact-checks a day since Covid-19 was detected. At home, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission’s Sebenarnya.my fact-checking platform has published almost 600 Covid-19-related fact-checks and clarifications over the same period.