Healthcare/Biosafety

Has Group Sex been Banned in Belgium due to Coronavirus?

26 March, 2020

On March 24-25, several Georgian editions (presa.ge, progressnews.ge, marshalpress.ge, readtime.ge, Newpost.ge , alia.ge, For.ge, info9.ge, msoflio.ru)  based on World News Daily Report, disseminated news titled “Belgium’s Minister of Health Bans Sexual Intercourse between Three or More People”. The articles mention that the reason behind this decision was the reputation of Belgium, which, according to the Minister, is an ill-famous capital of group sex and beer-drinkers. This news article was shared on Facebook groups “საინტერესო” (“Interesting”), „საინტერესო ამბები“ (“Interesting Stories”), and „საინფორმაციო“ (“Informational”). Apart from the groups, the news has been shared on blog-like Facebook pages, such as „დედამიწის გარშემო“ (“Around the World”) and “Yellow Facts”. One of the forums even saw a thread created for this topic.

 

Such news was actually published by World News Daily Report on March 21. However, the information is not true, and World News Daily Report is a satirical edition. World News Daily Report mission statement indicates:

“All characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people – are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any persons, living, dead, or undead is purely a miracle.”

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Georgian media outlets covered the satirical-humorous story differently. From the listed media outlets, only progressnews.ge indicated in the article body that the information was satirical in nature, however, their article indicated no such thing.

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Marshalpress.ge and Readtime.ge added a note to the article soon after publishing. They initially disseminated the news as a real story and only afterwards added a note under the body of the article that the information was satirical. Despite that, they still have not changed the initial article titles.

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Other media outlets (Newpost.ge , alia.ge, For.ge, info9.ge, msoflio.ru) disseminated the news about banning group sex in Belgium as a real story.

Showcasing satirical-humorous news as a real story

Showcasing satirical-humorous news as a real story is one of the methods of propaganda. Through such a method, tabloid and propaganda editions try to create a perception that phenomena such as zoophilia, necrophilia etc. are characteristics of the Western society’s lifestyle.

You can find other news, published by satirical-humorous editions and verified by Myth Detector that have also been showcased as real stories:

  • How Someone Else’s Satire Became News for Sputnik;
  • Primetime Showcases a Story about Raping a Fish as Real News;
  • Disinformation about Jimmy Olsen Attempting to Rape an Alligator;
  • Geworld’s Photomanipulations and Disinformation about Raping a Mummy and a Wax Figure

Prepared by Nestan Ratiani
Myth Detector Lab