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Debunked: No, Queen Elizabeth's coronavirus speech was not recorded on 5 March

A post on Facebook claiming that Queen Elizabeth’s speech regarding the coronavirus outbreak is untrue.

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FAKE NEWS AND misinformation is proliferating across social media during the Covid-19 outbreak, and this post on Facebook is another example of something that’s just not the case. 

At the time of writing, the post in a public Facebook group had 127 likes and had been shared 51 times. Several other versions of the post on Facebook have fewer likes and shares. 

queen

The post shows what is claimed to be a screenshot of a BBC iPlayer page hosting Queen Elizabeth’s speech in relation to the coronavirus outbreak, which aired on Sunday 5 April.

In the picture posted on Facebook claiming to depict the iPlayer page, it appears that the video is dated 5 March 2020. 

However, the date under the BBC’s iPlayer videos relates to a show’s broadcast date, not the date of recording – as is the case with most, if not all, broadcasters’ playback systems. 

When TheJournal.ie checked the video on the iPlayer’s website, the date says “8pm 5 Apr 2020″, which was, in fact, the time and date the video aired on television. It does not say 5 March, as the screenshot claims. 

Screenshot 2020-04-08 at 11.50.59 Source: Screengrab/BBC iPlayer

During her speech, Queen Elizabeth made note of the UK government’s “stay at home” order. 

“I also want to thank those of you who are staying at home, thereby helping to protect the vulnerable and sparing many families the pain already held by those who have lost loved ones,” she said. 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued the order for people to stay at home on 23 March, 18 days after the Facebook post claims the queen’s speech was recorded. 

Numerous outlets, including the BBC and Press Association, reported that the speech was, in fact, pre-recorded. 

However, no reputable news outlet reported that the speech had been recorded on 5 March. 

TheJournal.ie confirmed that the video was filmed close to the broadcast date.

Taking the above information into account, it can be assumed that the screenshot of the BBC iPlayer with the date 5 March is false and that the post claiming the speech was recorded on that date is incorrect. 

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There is a lot of false news and scaremongering  being spread in Ireland at the moment about coronavirus. Here are some practical ways for you to assess whether the messages that you’re seeing – especially on WhatsApp – are true or not. 

STOP, THINK AND CHECK 

Look at where it’s coming from. Is it someone you know? Do they have a source for the information (e.g. the HSE website) or are they just saying that the information comes from someone they know? A lot of the false news being spread right now is from people claiming that messages from ‘a friend’ of theirs. Have a look yourself – do a quick Google search and see if the information is being reported elsewhere. 

Secondly, get the whole story, not just a headline. A lot of these messages have got vague information (“all the doctors at this hospital are panicking”) and don’t mention specific details. This is often – but not always a sign – that it may not be accurate. 

Finally, see how you feel after reading it. A lot of these false messages are designed to make people feel panicked. They’re deliberately manipulating your feelings to make you more likely to share it. If you feel panicked after reading something, check it out and see if it really is true.

TheJournal.ie’s FactCheck is a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles. You can read it here. For information on how FactCheck works, what the verdicts mean, and how you can take part, check out our Reader’s Guide here. You can read about the team of editors and reporters who work on the factchecks here

Have you gotten a message on WhatsApp or Facebook or Twitter about coronavirus that you’re not sure about and want us to check it out? Message or mail us and we’ll look into debunking it. WhatsApp: 085 221 4696 or Email: answers@thejournal.ie 

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