COVID conspiracies: 7% of Britons think there is no hard evidence that coronavirus exists, poll suggests

A sign of social distancing that encourages people to stick to social distancing and stay two meters apart on Oxford Street in London. (PA)
Despite nearly 450,000 deaths worldwide and months of closure of most of the planet, 7% of Britons do not believe there is actual evidence that the corona virus actually exists.
The result, based on surveys of 2,254 British residents between the ages of 16 and 75 conducted by King's College London and Ipsos Mori, was part of a larger study of conspiracy theories surrounding COVID-19.
It has been found that 30% of the British believe that the coronavirus was produced in a laboratory, while the same number believe that the actual death toll is reduced or hidden by the authorities.
Thirteen percent said the pandemic was part of a global effort to force people to vaccinate, while 28 percent believed that most people in the UK had coronavirus without realizing it.
Ben Page, Ipsos MORI

NEW Millions of British believe in conspiracy theories about # covid19 - especially high among @ Facebook and @ YouTube users - 7% think EVERYTHING is a joke, 8% believe in 5G theory etc. etc. SIGH - new study with @policyatkings
1:29 p.m. - June 18, 2020
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The study also found that people who rely on social media to get information about coronavirus are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories and to violate blocking rules.
More than one in 20 (8%) believe that the symptoms most people attribute to COVID-19 are related to 5G network radiation - a false conspiracy that is believed to have triggered a number of mobile mast attacks across the country during the ban .
Of those who believe this theory, 60% said they got their information from YouTube, compared to 14% who believed they were wrong.
On Facebook, the number of believers is 54% compared to 20% of unbelievers.
Among those who believe that there is no clear evidence that the virus exists, 56% use Facebook as their primary source of information, almost three times the proportion of people who don't believe this (20%).
The results also indicate a connection between people who have violated the locking rules and use social media to get details about the corona virus.
Three out of ten people who mistakenly believe that 5G causes COVID-19 symptoms have gone outside, even though they suspect they may have the virus, compared to only 4% of those who reject this assumption.
People who have admitted to going outside with possible symptoms are more than three times as likely as those who do not need to get enough or much information about the YouTube virus.
Meanwhile, 55% of Facebook-dependent users said they took the risk, compared to 21% who didn't.
According to a study, people who rely on social media to get information about coronavirus are more likely to believe conspiracy theories and violate lock rules. (PA)
The results indicate a similar trend among people who have friends or family during the ban and who don't follow the two-meter distance rules.
Professor Bobby Duffy, director of the Policy Institute at King's College London, said: “These types of associations cannot prove that misinformation on social media platforms leads to conspiracies, less trust and a higher likelihood of violations of the rules, but they do indicate a toxic mix of underlying beliefs and misleading information that can have a real impact on human behavior, even during a pandemic. "
A YouTube spokeswoman said she was "committed to providing timely and helpful information about COVID-19" and "to quickly remove videos that violated their guidelines."
Facebook said they had removed hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 related misinformation "that could result in immediate harm".
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