Standby Task Force deployed to tackle misinformation during Coronavirus Pandemic
In December 2019, an outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus called Covid-19 occurred in Wuhan, China. The virus has now spread globally, with cases being reported in over 190 countries. On 11th March, 2020, the Covid-19 outbreak was declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. As of today, approx. 434,500 cases have been reported, and the virus has resulted in 19,600 deaths worldwide.
We have been participating with a group of H2H (Humanitarian-to-humanitarian) Network members who are working with the World Health Organization for countermeasures against mis/dis-information surrounding the Covid-19 outbreak. The information collected during this time IS used to determine priorities regarding the misinformation and rumors that need to be tackled by media and health organizations via digital campaigns.
We have been working on this activation since February 24th, 2020, and since February 24th, 2020, first focusing on collecting the most prevalent rumors/misinformation in the Middle East and South East Asia. However, as the number of cases was increasing in other regions, we have broadened our search to collect prevalent rumors/misinformation in all languages and countries.
So far we have found rumours and misinformation about the cause of the infection, prevention methods, supposed cures, about how the virus is transmitted and about how governments are responding. We have found rumours that are very specific to a local area, and found rumours that have spread globally in many languages. We are regularly publishing reports about our findings, and they can be found here.
SBTF volunteers, if you are interested in joining us, you can sign up here. It’s easy!
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