The Weekly investigates role of social media and why coronavirus wasn’t hidden like SARS

The 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) left 44 Canadians dead, but it wasn’t documented on social media. That’s because Facebook, Twitter and YouTube didn’t exist back then.

“Social media adds a whole new layer to all of this messaging that’s out there that I didn’t have to deal with when I was reporting on SARS,” Maureen Taylor said today on The Weekly with Wendy Mesley. Maureen was CBC’s The National health correspondent who reported on the deadly outbreak back in 2003.

Fake news about the coronavirus is now flooding the web, and many are taking to social media to discuss the virus, especially in China.

Credit: iStock, bo1982

“It is indeed helping information to flow within the country,” said Zhaoyin Feng, Washington correspondent for the BBC’s Chinese Service.

Double-edged sword

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