Like many other countries, Ghana has been grappling with its share of fake news about COVID-19. On the one hand, rumors that the “foreign disease” targets only whites and the affluent heighten nonchalant attitudes toward fighting the disease. On the other hand, scaremongering, prescription of various local remedies, and false case counts create confusion and undermine public education efforts.
The spread of misinformation, hoaxes, lies, and false claims is of course neither new nor limited to pandemics. Fake news is as old as the concept of “news” itself, but has come into intense focus through the widespread use – and abuse – of social media.