You might have seen a tweet claiming to be from the BBC that asserts that “Daniel Radcliffe tests positive for coronavirus,” and that the Harry Potter franchise star was “the first famous person to be publicly confirmed.” If you looked closer at that tweet, though, you would have seen that the account “@BBCNewsTonight” was not verified, or affiliated in any way with the BBC. (If there was any doubt, the account had about 100 followers compared to the 10 million followers for the real account, @BBCNews.)

If you see any tweet that looks like this, do not believe it, and definitely don’t share it:


Coronavirus is a serious concern; as of this writing (according to The New York Times) over 118,000 people have been infected and at least 4,200 people have died. There are quarantines in several countries all over the world and today New York moved to create a “containment zone” around a cluster of infections in New Rochelle. But that doesn’t mean everything you read on Twitter is accurate. Always ensure the things you read are from a verified or trusted source before you share them with friends or your own followers. There’s a reason these sorts of hoaxes are said to go “viral” — and it’s not because the word has a positive connotation. So be careful out there — and on social media.

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