Commentary September 10, 2020

The COVID-19 Infodemic: What Can Be Done About the Infectious Spread of Misinformation and Disinformation

Almost since its first emergence, the spreading SARS-CoV-2 outbreak has also been accompanied by a widespread proliferation of misinformation and disinformation, what the World Health Organization (WHO) described as “a massive ‘infodemic’… that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.”
Trump talking
Doug Mills/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Almost since its first emergence, the spreading SARS-CoV-2 outbreak has also been accompanied by a widespread proliferation of misinformation and disinformation, what the World Health Organization (WHO) described as “a massive ‘infodemic’—an over-abundance of information … that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.”

Misinformation can be information that is false or inaccurate, whether deliberately or inadvertently so. Disinformation refers to information that is intended to mislead, whether or not the information is literally true.

Read the rest at Bulletin of Atomic Scientists