Premier McNeil encourages NSians to fact check what they read online

MOUNT UNIACKE: Nova Scotians should fact check any information they’re seeing posted online whether it’s regarding COVID19 or any other newsworthy item, the Premier said.

Stephen McNeil was answering a question on Sept. 1 posed to him by The Laker News during the media question and answer session following the announcement of more communities across the province being hooked up to high speed internet through Develop N.S.

The question came after an online post credited to “Spotted by St F.X.” indicated there were many students and staff not following proper health guidelines as it relates to COVID19. Among them was that many were not wearing masks; that some students were not self-isolating as required if coming from outside the Atlantic Bubble; and about police coming onto to the University property because someone would not wear a mask.

St. F.X. posted a response to the rumour which had many shares and has now since been deleted.

“Earlier today, a post was circulated on social media related to StFX’s COVID-19 response (see image),” St. F.X. said in a post on their Facebook page. “The post appears to have since been deleted, but we feel it is important to comment as the information does not reflect what is actually happening on our campus.

“While we appreciate the anxiousness within our community, we want to dispel rumours and inaccuracies that will only contribute to a sense of unease.

1. Our Safety and Security staff are not aware of any incident like the one described in the post regarding police coming to campus because someone would not wear a mask. For clarity, security is typically notified when RCMP respond to a call at StFX.

2. Students isolating off-campus come to StFX to complete their three mandatory COVID-19 tests, in line with the process established by Public Health. When students come to campus for these tests they are not breaking their isolation so long as they return immediately home when their test is complete. 

3. The vast majority of individuals are wearing their masks and following the strict guidelines we’ve introduced to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved.

“We care about the collective health and wellbeing of our region and remain committed to doing our part to keep each other safe and well.”

While not asked specifically about this, Premier McNeil said it was important for everyone reading stories online about COVID19 or other posts that go viral to do their due diligence, and ensure they’re not continuing to spread misinformation. This includes media, he said.

“My first piece of advice for any Nova Scotian, whether it’s COVID19 or something else, you better fact check it,” said McNeil. “I would include that for media outlets as well. Use your own mind. Think about it.”

As the saying goes that not everything you read online is true, the same applies here said McNeil.

“Just because you read it on the Internet doesn’t make it true. Just because someone has said it out loud, doesn’t make it true,” said McNeil. “Do your own fact checking, identify what is being said and if it doesn’t pass the common-sense test, it’s probably not true.

“Rely on the good instincts that your parents bestowed upon you as you go forward.”