Coronavirus (290) Nature: Suppressing early information on COVID-19 and other health scares can aid misinformation

1 April, 2020

This “Nature” article is a short but nice piece. [*see note below]

Best regards.

Najeeb Al-Shorbaji, PhD, FIAHSI

Former Director, Knowledge, Ethics and Research Department, WHO/HQ

President, eHealth Development Association of Jordan,

Independent Consultant in Knowledge Management and eHealth

e-Marefa Advisor

P.O. Box 542006

Amman 11937


Mobile +962 799391604

Tel. +962 (6) 5240273


Twitter: shorbajin


HIFA profile: Najeeb Al-Shorbaji recently retired from the World Health Organization (WHO), where he has worked since 1988 in different capacities. He was most recently Director of the Knowledge, Ethics and Research Department at WHO headquarters, Geneva. Previously he was Coordinator for Knowledge Management and Sharing in EMRO (Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office), Egypt. He is a member of a number of national and international professional societies and associations specialised in information management and health informatics. He has authored over 100 research papers and articles presented in various conferences and published in professional journals. He is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and the HIFA Working Group on Multilingualism.

Email: shorbajin AT

[*Note from HIFA moderator (Neil PW): Thanks Najeeb. For the benefit of those who may not have immediate web access, here is the title and subtitle, and a comment from me:

Suppressing early information on COVID-19 and other health scares can aid misinformation

Governments need to think twice before they suppress messages related to COVID-19

Despite the title and subtitle, I interpret this piece as being largely about government suppression of facts about coronavirus (in part to maintain 'public order') and indeed governments' role in misinformation (as in Donald Trump's champioining of chloroquine) rather than suppression of misinformation. That said, previous research has pointed to unexpected negative impacts of attempts to correct misinformation.]