Apr 29, 2020

Hany Farid Joins other Bay Area Researchers to Fight Coronavirus

From San Francisco Chronicle

‘The finest minds in the world’: Bay Area researchers race to fight coronavirus with innovation and creativity

By Jill Tucker

An academic army has assembled in the Bay Area over the past several weeks, shifting research efforts to combat the coronavirus and its far-reaching impact.

The endeavor, composed of thousands of scientists, researchers and scholars, is a historic and virtually unheard of effort, with some of the biggest brains in the world dropping whatever they were working on to focus their expertise on the disease...

“This is why we have people drinking bleach thinking they’re going to be cured,” Farid said, referring to social media posts recommending the dangerous idea. “We need to undo the stupidity that’s out there.”

Farid developed a large survey last week, asking 500 people to read 40 coronavirus-related headlines, 20 not true, 20 true, asking if they had seen them, believed them, or knew someone who would believe them.

Preliminary results shows 15% of those surveyed said they know someone who would believe that gargling bleach to prevent or cure coronavirus was legitimate.

“That’s shocking,” he said. “Now the question is what’s next.”


Hany Farid is a professor at the UC Berkeley School of Information and EECS. He specializes in digital forensics.

Last updated: June 12, 2020