Sometimes we all struggle to know whether something is accurate and reliable – especially when information is coming from a wide variety of sources, as is often the case with COVID-19 information. So, if in doubt, check it out.
Below you will find a list of fact-checking sites that you can visit to get the most recently fact-checked stories. There is also a list of recently ‘de-bunked’ or stories proven to be false.
Jump to:De-Bunked Check the Facts
Fact-Checked: There have been no credible reports of scammers using leaked HSE data to target victims
In messages reworded from earlier debunked claims from the start of the pandemic, messages proliferating in Irish closed social media groups are spreading rumours of fraudsters calling people claiming to be from the HSE and asking for bank details after proving personal information. While this is cause for concern, the more likely scenario involves fraudsters trying to trick people without actually possessing the leaked data. The public is being cautioned not to share unsubstantiated rumours online. The Journal have the details.
Debunked: No, COVID vaccines do not create new COVID-19 variants
Claims attributed to a virologist and conspiracy theorist that the COVID-19 vaccine has created new variants of the disease have been spreading online. Most of the COVID-19 variants emerged before the widespread distribution of vaccines, which inhibit the spread of viruses and thus limit their chances to evolve into new variants. This claim has been debunked by the AP.
Fact-Checked: No, the AstraZeneca vaccine does not contain a Bluetooth chip
A social media user has made claims that since receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine his body has been connecting with Bluetooth devices. The video purports that his phone connects with a device called "AstraZeneca_ChAdOx1-S"; the names of Bluetooth devices are easily changed by users and microchips are too large to pass through needles. The claim has been debunked by PolitiFact.
Fact-Checked: No, receiving the COVID-19 vaccine will not nullify your insurance policies
False claims that multiple forms of insurance policies in Ireland will be ‘null and void’ for people who receive the COVID-19 vaccine are circulating in a new video, echoing similar claims previously debunked by The Journal.
Debunked: No, vaccines do not cause epilepsy
Anti-vaccine activists are sharing a video purporting to link routine childhood vaccinations to epilepsy, casting doubt on the COVID-19 vaccines. The AP has debunked the claim.
Explained: No, the UK government has not just repealed the Genocide Act
Some social media users are spreading the false claim that the British government has repealed the Genocide Act as a step toward attacking its own people. In reality, the Genocide Act was repealed in 2001 and replaced with the International Criminal Court Act, which also prohibits genocide. This claim was debunked by Reuters.
FactFind: No, information on suspected reactions to Covid-19 vaccines is not being hidden
The Journal debunks claims that information about suspected reactions to the Covid-19 vaccinations is being hidden and shows where to go to find this information in Ireland and the UK.
Fact-Checked: No, a two-year-old did not die during Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine trial
Anti-vaccine websites have shared a false story about a two-year-old baby who died during Pfizer’s COVID vaccine trials on children. The photo of the baby associated with the article has been shared widely on social media. The story was debunked by Reuters.
Debunked: No, magnets do not stick to people's arms after they receive Covid-19 vaccines
Anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists are sharing videos showing people placing magnets on their arms to prove the conspiracy that the vaccine contains a microchip. The videos show people placing a magnet on the arm where they had their jab. The story has been debunked by Snopes.
Fact-Checked: No, Darkness into Light is not cancelled
Despite claims by anti-lockdown activists, Darkness Into Light is not cancelled and will be going ahead on 8 May with Covid social distance guidelines being followed as reported by TheJournal.ie.
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Check the Facts
There are many factchecking websites and organisations working hard to help you identify what is accurate and reliable and what is not.
FactCheck from The Journal.ie is Ireland’s only verified signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network Code of Principles, with commitments to non-partisanship, fairness, and transparency
FactCheckNI is Northern Ireland’s only verified signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network Code of Principles, with commitments to non-partisanship, fairness, and transparency.
The Poynter Institute also supports fact-checking in a number of ways, including the Politifact website, the Corona Virus Fact Alliance and the Corona Virus Facts Database.
The International Fact Checking Network is a unit of the Poynter Institute dedicated to bringing together fact-checkers worldwide by promoting best practices and exchanges in this field, underpinned by a code of principles.
The MediaWise Teen Fact-Checking Network (TFCN) publishes daily fact-checks for teenagers, by teenagers and is a verified signatory of the International Fact-Checking Network’s code of principles.
Full Fact is a team of independent fact checkers and campaigners who find, expose and counter the harm that misinformation does
Snopes is the oldest and largest fact-checking site online and labels stories as ‘True’, ‘Mostly, ‘True’, ‘Mixture’, ‘Mostly False’ or ‘False’.
iHealthFacts is a Galway-based team doing science-heavy factchecks on COVID-19
Interrogate the data for yourself.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control provides situation updates for Europe
The Health Protection and Surveillance Centre provides Ireland-specific updates on COVID-19
The COVID-19 Data Hub is the official hub for COVID-19 statistics in Ireland
COVID-NMA is an international research initiative supported by the WHO and Cochrane. It shows all current trials and studies around COVID-19.