ATHENS – An investigation by the Greek police cybercrime unit has uncovered more than 20 cases of alleged attempts to misinform the public by spreading conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and health measures aimed at preventing its spread.
Investigators sent their findings to an Athens Court of First Instance prosecutor after saying they discovered 10 of the cases involve social media groups urging parents not to to make their children wear face masks in school as required when they reopen, said Kathimerini.
The anti-maskers believe the protective gear is part of a worldwide conspiracy to control their minds and distributed a video telling parents they are not safe after some warned the masks could cause sudden death, offering no proof beyond their claims.
As do one-quarter of Americans, many Greeks believe the COVID-19 pandemic is a conspiracy of one sort of other to control them, blaming the world's elite but views being pushed on Greek websites.
The prosecutor's office earlier said there was a probe on social media networks and news sites claiming that the pandemic is essentially a conspiracy, leading Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis to step in.
“We will take all legal measures so that public health is not threatened by misinformation or conspiracy theories circulating on the Internet,” Chrysochoidis said, the New Democracy government trying to stop the spread of false claims.
One blog said the vaccine for the disease is being developed under the direction of Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates to decimate the global population without realizing apparently that wouldn't leave people alive to buy Microsoft products.
Even US President Donald Trump has fed into the conspiracies and now adding to it by claiming the country has fewer death ratio rates than many other countries, fumbling to explain it in the face of statistics showing otherwise.
It's uncertain how many Greeks think, as he indicated, the pandemic might be a hoax or its origins after it began in Wuhan, China, but 25 percent of Americans surveyed by the Pew Research Center said powerful people planned it.