Global pandemic provides fertile ground for rumor mongers
KUWAIT CITY, March 17: There is no doubt that the most dangerous virus of all are rumors which spread like wildfire when people spread lies and rumors and spill confusion in society thereby destroying the stability and security of nations, reports Al-Qabas daily.
At a time when rumors are considered a dangerous scourge, a devastating weapon and a psychological epidemic, specialists in sociology, information, forensic science, and electronic media emphasize that some fictitious accounts have taken advantage of the corona virus crisis to intimidate the community although it is a well-known fact the targets vary from person to person.
The specialists have pointed out that these rumors are no less harmful than the epidemic itself.
Many people continue to be affected particularly the innocent are disturbed. It is a phenomenon that is filled with malice and negates efforts exerted by governments to fight the pandemics.
Rumors are one of the most prominent antisocial phenomena that travel faster than lightning with the sole purpose of destabilizing the otherwise peaceful security and stability environment.
The technological development and the social media has become fertile ground for spreading rumors superseding the pandemic itself. The Al-Qabas daily has highlighted this thorny issue and monitored its dimensions and damages, and ways to address this societal phenomenon, which has worsened, especially with the spread of the new corona virus.
Social workers, legal professionals and clergymen call list this among the list of the most dangerous viruses.
There are two types of diseases that affect the human body organic and psychological, they say, and pointed out that when souls and hearts become sick the heart becomes inorganic and destroys the society in its true sense in the true sense. Professor of Environmental Sciences at the Kuwait University Dr Muhammad Al-Sara’awi spoke of the danger of spreading rumors via the social media, warning of their negative impact on society, their social, psychological, economic and political harms in addition to harming national unity and disrupting family bonding.
Al-Sara’awi spoke of the necessity of checking the authenticity of the news before rebroadcasting it, indicating there are several motives behind spreading rumors, including weakening the societal fabric isolating groups from each other and creating confusion and discord, creating fear and panic among individuals and disturbing the environment.
Al-Sara’awi said rumor mongers can be fought by depending on news coming from official sources and avoiding following up misleading tweets and fake accounts and concerned authorities taking stringent measures and legal procedures against those who publish false news and rumors.
Professor of Sociology at the Kuwait University Dr Jamil al- Marri summarizes the damage caused by rumors by saying they stir fear and cause panic, especially among women, children and ordinary people; may lead to honor killing, libel and insult; sowing discord in society and some may even develop neuropsychiatric diseases such as the fear hysteria.