Coronavirus (1255) WHO: Acting on the wrong information can kill

2 May, 2021

Dear HIFA colleagues,

Below are extracts from a WHO news item, Read in full here: https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/fighting-misinforma...

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Fighting misinformation in the time of COVID-19, one click at a time

27 April 2021

Acting on the wrong information can kill. In the first 3 months of 2020, nearly 6 000 people around the globe were hospitalized because of coronavirus misinformation, recent research suggests. During this period, researchers say at least 800 people may have died due to misinformation related to COVID-19...

To try to control the COVID-19 infodemic, WHO has teamed up with the United Kingdom Government to create and distribute content to combat the spread of misinformation through a series of communication campaigns. This was one of several initiatives to combat misinformation taken by WHO on its own and with partners since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak...

‘Stop the Spread’ rolled out on BBC World television, website and apps during May and June 2020. It aimed to raise the public’s awareness of the volume of misinformation around COVID-19 and encourage people to double check information, therefore limiting the damage and spread of false information...

In addition to powerful social media messages, an innovative online game called Go Viral! was created, based on previous research which has shown just one play can reduce perceived reliability of fake news by an average of 21%...

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Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator, neil@hifa.org www.hifa.org