Fact checkers were left with their heads in their hands after they were compelled to announce that oranges cannot contract coronavirus.
Full Fact, a fact checking organisation, issued a statement after a Facebook post went viral claiming that an orange had gone viral in a different manner – namely, by testing positive for the illness using a lateral flow test:
The group said that the fruit appeared to have broken the test, but did not have coronavirus.
“The test cannot work properly with an orange,” they said.
“If you completely ignore the manufacturer’s instructions or in fact use the test for something completely different, then you shouldn’t really be surprised if you get a silly result.”
It comes amid fears that misinformation on social media is fuelling the pandemic. American organisation The Center for Countering Digital Hate, for instance, has recently urged Facebook, Google and Twitter to clamp down on anti-vaccine campaigns that flood the internet.
Meanwhile, the orange debacle does not represent the first time Full Fact has had to intervene after people have posted coronavirus nonsense on the internet.
“We’ve written before about claims that a kiwi fruit and glass of Coca Cola have appeared to test positive with lateral flow tests,” they despaired.
Reacting to the statement, people’s eyes collectively rolled into the backs of their heads.
One Twitter user said:
While another wished the orange well:
While we are sure Full Fact get a lot of job satisfaction from stamping out fake news, we’re not sure this is what they thought they would have to contend with.
We patiently await confirmation of the coronavirus carrying capabilities of other fruits, and maybe one day, vegetables.