Britain creates unit to fight virus disinformation

By: News Desk      Published: 03:23 PM, 9 Mar, 2020
Britain creates unit to fight virus disinformation

Britain has set up a specialist unit to combat the spread of disinformation about the novel coronavirus outbreak, officials said on Monday.

The culture department said teams had been brought together to provide a fuller picture of the potential extent, scope and impact of the issue.

"The aim is, where necessary, to identify and respond to disinformation related to COVID-19," it added in a statement.

As of Sunday, Britain had 278 confirmed cases of the virus, including three deaths. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was on Monday chairing an emergency committee with scientific experts, with more stringent measures to delay the spread of the virus expected.

Culture minister Oliver Dowden did not identify any specific source for the disinformation.

But he said preventing the deliberate or inadvertent spread of false information was a "top priority", after several days of panic buying in supermarkets.

The government will have "regular engagement" with social media platforms to monitor and limit and its spread, he added.

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