| OPINION | Covid-19 and the fake news threat: three experts weigh in

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2020-04-23 16:01

Fake news, especially around Covid-19, has, in some instances, proven to be lethal – with deaths recorded after people had followed misguided or simply incorrect “advice”. 

Three experts from the medical, media and law professions weigh in on the issue:

  • Professor Faadiel Essop, Director of the Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research in Africa (CARMA) at Stellenbosch University urges us to “inoculate” against the Covid-19 infodemic;
  • Quentin Wray, a veteran editor and writer says it is everyone’s duty to be measured when digesting information; and
  • Senior legal professional Serjeant at the Bar reminds us that “freedom of expression is a vital constitutional right but it does come with obligations”.

The current global climate is tense enough as it is, with families being separated, people losing loved ones, millions of jobs being shed and economies in freefall, writes Quentin Wray.

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The danger of experts overreaching during Covid-19

Distinguished professionals who deservedly are recognised as experts in their field should not be using their reputation to overreach by trenching into areas way beyond their expertise. Freedom of expression is a vital constitutional right but it does come with obligations, writes Serjeant at the Bar.

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