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Chickenpox Outbreak statement is FAKE! Here’s how we spotted it:

Posted: Monday, November 18, 2019. 3:12 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Recently, there have been a number of fake Facebook profiles popping up online purporting to be official news agencies and even Ministerial or government accounts.

There is a Facebook account under the name Ministry of Health, Belize that posted a press release with a supposed warning for an outbreak of chickenpox in Belize.

The press release is written in Spanish and has several errors.

We are providing you with some guidelines on spotting fake Facebook pages and avoiding the virality of misinformation.

  1. The first step before sharing a release is to take a few seconds to search the official Government of Belize Facebook page. All press releases from the Government are posted there.
  2. The second step is to search for a reputable online news agency to check if they have any stories on the release or statement.
  3. Take some seconds to click and open the page that posted the release and check their page details including date of creation, followers and likes. For example, the fake Ministry of Health page has only 36 likes while the official page has 5,453 likes.
  4. In Belize, press releases are posted in the country’s official language, English.
  5. Check the page transparency section: The fake page was created on November 11, 2019 and is listed as a political organization. The real page was created on February 3, 2015 and is listed as a Government organization.

BBN has also confirmed with Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero that the Ministry of Health has not issued any such press release.

Manzanero added that when the Ministry issues a release, it is done through the proper channels.


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