As more and more information comes out about coronavirus or COVID-19, most people are doing what they can to be helpful and spread facts, but even in these scary times, there are still internet trolls who insist on spreading false info for literally! no! reason!
Case in point: A Twitter account posed as a fake BBC Breaking News account with the goals of a) spreading fake news and b) concerning the masses. The user started a rumor that Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe has coronavirus, which his publicist immediately debunked.
In the tweet, the since-deleted account wrote, "BREAKING: Daniel Radcliffe tests positive for coronavirus. The actor is said to be the first famous person to be publicly confirmed." Obviously, this is fake news, but a slew of journalists from The New York Times, CBS News, and Politico fell for it by retweeting it, which is...concerning.
It almost goes without saying, but this is really not okay, guys! The tweet quickly gained traction because the account looked alarmingly similar to BBC's other handles, and it managed to fool people by taking advantage of genuine public concern. The account has since been suspended.
There's still no word on whether Daniel has seen the rumor yet. (He chooses to stay off of social media, which sounds like a great idea right about now.) But this whole thing is a good reminder to double-check news before panicking—and also wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, kay?
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.