In times of crisis, what the world really needs is to come together as one, and that’s exactly what happened for about 10 minutes yesterday when the entire world was praying for Harry Potter. Ok, maybe not the entire world, but a number of ding-dongs on the internet who believed a false report that Daniel Radcliffe was the first celebrity to test positive for coronavirus. Reader, I was one of those ding-dongs. But because of the rigorous journalistic integrity with which I live my life, I figured it out pretty quickly when the Tweet I saw from @BBCNewsTonight reporting it, didn’t have a link attached. But for a solid 30 seconds, I was like, “oh damn, for real?” Thankfully, Daniel’s publicist has done more to assure the public about the realities of Covid-19 than our own government by letting us know the report is false, and that Jameela Jamil is actually the first celebrity to test positive for the disease (citation needed).
According to E! News, a legitimate, vetted, and trusted organization that can afford to use Getty Images and everything:
Misinformation regarding the coronavirus is spreading.
On Tuesday morning, a fake BBC Twitter account falsely claimed that Harry Potter alum Daniel Radcliffe had tested positive for the coronavirus. According to Buzzfeed News, the actor’s publicist denied the claim.
“Not true,” the publicist told the publication.
The now-deleted-tweet was published from a page with the username @BBCNewsTonight. The tweet read, “BREAKING: Daniel Radcliffe tests positive for coronavirus. The actor is said to be the first famous person to be publicly confirmed.”
Here’s a couple of tweets from ding-dongs with compromised critical thinking skills.
Daniel Radcliffe positive corona 😱
— chatty icebear (@fiamadestie) March 11, 2020
Earlier today, I RTed a fake BBC account and un-RTed when a very helpful reader flagged it. My apologies for confusion. Here's a good read on the hoax: https://t.co/qdfjfdza0v
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) March 10, 2020
Yes, I deduced that this was a hoax faster than the Gray Lady herself, chatty icebear! E! reports that the original tweet has been deleted and the fake BBC account has since been suspended for “platform manipulation.” (via Buzzfeed) But as we know, it’s never been easier to spread false information. The tweet was “up for at least seven hours” and “was shared at least 762 times” before it was removed. Let this be a lesson, when it comes to breaking news, always come here first because here, if something sounds off or too weird, like “The CDC recommends rubbing your anus with spicy brown mustard while reciting Al Pacino’s big speech from The Devil’s Advocate (I know 2:03 seems like a long time, but its the only way to be sure you’ve completely vanquished the virus),” you know it’s made up!