The Horrific WhatsApp Rumor Mill Fueling Brooklyn’s COVID Backlash

In the hundreds-strong WhatsApp group chats used by many members of Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, fake news has become a contagion unto itself.



a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Spencer Platt/Getty


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“MUST WATCH DR USES VAPE TO SHOW MASKS DON’T WORK,” blared one video recently forwarded in the discussion thread of a prominent Hasidic family based in the neighborhood of Borough Park, where coronavirus rates have spiked in recent weeks.

“BREAKING Jewish journalist Jacob Kornbluh was just found dead by the NYPD in his apartment in Brooklyn. Sources say it might be suicide,” read a false update another community insider relayed from a popular chat group on Monday, referring to the Jewish Insider reporter assaulted during a demonstration against new restrictions aimed at the outbreak there.



graphical user interface, text, application, chat or text message: WhatsApp


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WhatsApp

Kornbluh is very much alive, and declined to comment on the message besides calling it “stupid” and

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