Misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in conspiracy theories and misinformation about the scale of the pandemic and the origin, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease. False information, including intentional disinformation, has been spread through social media, text messages, and mass media, including the tabloid media, conservative media, state media of countries such as China, Russia, Iran, and Turkmenistan. It has also been spread by state-backed covert operations to generate panic and sow distrust in other countries.
Misinformation has been propagated by celebrities, politicians (including heads of state in countries such as the United States, Iran, and Brazil), and other prominent public figures. Commercial scams have claimed to offer at-home tests, supposed preventives, and "miracle" cures. Politicians and leaders of some countries have promoted purported cures, while some religious groups said that the faith of their followers and God will protect them from the virus. Others have claimed the virus is a lab-developed bio-weapon that was accidentally leaked, or deliberately designed to target a country, or one with a patented vaccine, a population control scheme, the result of a spy operation, or linked to 5G networks.