Podcast: Will fake news about Covid outlive the pandemic?

Where do the false claims about vaccines come from and why do we believe them?

In The News is hosted by reporters Conor Pope and Sorcha Pollak.

In The News is hosted by reporters Conor Pope and Sorcha Pollak.

 

A steady stream of false information has been a part of the Covid-19 pandemic, with many conspiracy theories emerging around the existence of the virus, whether it poses a real risk to health, and the safety of vaccines.

But where are these false claims about the virus and vaccines coming from and why do people believe them? Is there a large, coordinated network behind the spread of this false information or are these just individuals acting on their own? And as the pandemic subsides, what comes next?

Irish Times crime correspondent Conor Gallagher, who has been tracking the spread of false information over the past year, explains on today’s podcast how people are no longer “falling down rabbit holes” of fake news online, but are sometimes being dragged into these spirals of disinformation by high profile figures.

“It’s very hard to accept that the world is so random and unpredictable that this pandemic can kill millions and there’s not really much we can do about it. It’s much easier to blame a government or pretend the pandemic doesn’t exist”, says Gallagher.

“Almost inevitably it starts to drive a wedge between you and your loved ones and you’re even more alone which reinforces your belief that you’re the only one that has cottoned on to the truth.”

In The News is hosted by reporters Conor Pope and Sorcha Pollak.

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