Evolving Consequences of the Coronavirus 'Infodemic': How Viral False Coronavirus-Related Information Affects People and Societies Across the World   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Document: "As the coronavirus outbreak continues to increase in severity, the volume of information regarding the virus has been growing. In February 2020, as the disease began to take hold across the world, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that it had been accompanied by an 'infodemic' - 'an over-abundance of information - some accurate and some not - that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it'. At the same time, people are worried about their own health, the wellbeing of relatives and the (financial, economic and societal) repercussions of the pandemic. Changing knowledge about the virus has also resulted in sometimes confusing guidelines. Moreover, there has been uncertainty about the appropriateness of government action as well as questions about the role of the WHO itself. All this has led to confusion over what is truth and what is fiction and, as many people are especially emotionally vulnerable during the pandemic, has also made many more susceptible to online false information, including false rumours and conspiracy theories spread unknowingly by people who mean well; online or phone scams that exploit people's emotional vulnerabilities, hoaxes claiming to offer a cure to the virus, as well as disinformation spread by malign actors."

Report Number:
PE 652.083
2020 European Union. Posted here with permission. Documents are for personal use only and not for commercial profit.
Retrieved From:
European Parliament: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/
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