Fake news, Vivy Yusof trending on social media

Amid at war with Covid-19, authorities are also busy fighting the rising fake news related to the virus

by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK/ pic credit: instagram.com/vivyyusof

CORONAVIRUS continues to be among the top topic and the centre of discussion on social media but bear in mind that not all the news shared are true.

From various theories related to the pandemic and possible cures to patogen to misleading information and even sales pitches of various products related to the flu bug.

Authorities are fighting the rising fake news related to coronavirus.

For example, a social media posting related to a statement by the Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob which had gone viral, but the minister had denied it and clarified it as fake news.

It was related to a poster and a number of areas that would be affected by a tighter standard operating procedure under the Movement Control Order (MCO). Related parties have also labelled the news as bogus.

The Communications and Multimedia Ministry is also busy responding to the rising false news online.

Among the fake news that have been circulating were Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) had frozen payments made by credit or debit card for non-essential businesses from March 27 until the end of the MCO, and the Segamat Hospital allegedly used its wards to accommodate Covid-19 patients. The hospital has been gazetted as a screening hospital and for non-coronavirus patients.

Other fake news that was making its rounds was regarding the alleged sales of bundled clothing belonging to deceased Covid-19 victims. The National Security Council had denied the report.

Meanwhile, FashionValet co-founder Vivy Yusof was at the wrong end of the stick over her honest reply to another posting.

She was responding to fellow entrepreneur Aleeya Zailan’s post that the poor will become richer during the Covid-19’s MCO due to the financial aid from the government, and will be “jobless after”.

Agreeing with Aleeya, Vivy commented that the contribution isn’t long term while stating that the suffering is huge for everyone from businesses to employees.

The conversation has gained traction online, with many Malaysians slamming the two entrepreneurs for their remarks towards the bottom 40% (B40) income group.

A Twitter user @odasaku_ranpo said that she is disappointed with Vivy’s reaction.

“If you guys are very concerned about savings, you probably should stop shopping luxuriously and start shopping to merely survive.

During this pandemic, none of us can live in luxury, neither can the T20 (top 20% income group), M40 (middle 40% income group) or B40, so be smart,” she said.

Another netizen @Aimonnn_. commented, “Some people arguing that Vivy is just trying to address the issue faced by the business owner, which is understandable.

“However, to address the issue faced by the business owners while belittling the B40 concerns is the part that makes people mad at her,” he said.

However, Vivy was quick to apologise on her Instagram account.

She said she meant to delete her posting on Facebook live, which was meant to highlight the worries of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that feel they may not be able to survive during the MCO.

“Some have shared they’re closing down and have to lay off their workers. SMEs employs around six million Malaysians, helping them would save millions of jobs, and I just wanted to help and see what can be done for SMEs.

“Just to share, FashionValet doesn’t qualify as an SME so this does not even benefit my company, I genuinely want to help support others so they can survive,” she said.

Adding onto her post, she said that she never said it was wrong to support the B40 or that she does not care.

“My words were taken out of context and reinterpreted to say that I don’t care about the B40. And that is the statement being blindly shared,” she said.

Despite her public apology, her comments are still being shared online, with @takaharasuiko, better known as Taka, written an indirect song to address the issue.

“Here, (a song) special for the rich that do not know the reality of the world,” she tweeted, attaching her song titled “T20 (Cemar Duli)”.