The current infodemic around COVID-19 includes the spread of false or inaccurate information (i.e. misinformation), and false information which is deliberately intended to mislead (i.e. disinformation). Not only are mis- and disinformation detrimental to public health efforts, but they can also undermine the protection of human rights, democracy and sustainable development.
The pandemic has contributed to an upsurge in hate speech, discrimination and scapegoating narratives, damaging social cohesion and trust whilst increasing the risk of exclusion and violence towards minorities and vulnerable groups. The infodemic is burdening countries worldwide, especially in developing countries and countries with fragile institutions. As the United Nations supports countries in responding to and recovering from the pandemic, how can it help to tackle the ongoing infodemic?
This webinar examined what the “infodemic” on COVID-19 encompasses, what the direct and indirect consequences are, and how the United Nations is responding globally and at country-level to the spread of mis- and disinformation on COVID-19. Somalia was presented as a country case example.