Analysis of viral disinformation in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic

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UNESCO has published two policy briefs that offer insights into COVID-19-related disinformation.

It notes that COVID-19 has led to a parallel pandemic of disinformation that directly impacts lives and livelihoods around the world. Falsehoods and misinformation have proven deadly and sowed confusion about life-saving personal and policy choices.

The first policy paper, Disinfodemic: Deciphering COVID-19 disinformation, assesses 9 types of coronavirus disinformation, four format modes, and it identifies 10 categories of response being mobilised – often with freedom of expression implications – around the world.

The second paper, Disinfodemic: Dissecting responses to COVID-19 disinformation, critically analyses 10 types of response to the viral spread of COVID-19 disinformation. The assessment looks at these responses holistically and in relation to impact on the right to freedom of expression, access to information and privacy.

The two policy briefs:

  • analyse the types of viral disinformation helping to drive the pandemic;
  • investigate how individuals, the news media, internet communications companies, and governments are responding to contamination of the information ecosystem;
  • offer rich food for thought about actions undertaken to combat the disinfodemic ;
  • assess the potential risks associated with restrictive measures; and
  • provide recommendations on how responses to the crisis can be improved to align to international human rights standards on access to information, freedom of expression and privacy.

For more information visit https://en.unesco.org/

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