The COVID 19 pandemic has a peculiarity that sets it apart it from previous health crisis’s that has plagued the world – the role of social media and its impact on global populations.
Powerful digital platforms have the power to circulate valuable information and news updates, in a matter of seconds, throughout the world. Within the same capacity, these tools are also capable of circulating false or misleading content that can threaten the well-being of populations. It is important verify information as soon as possible.
With a simple click, sharing unverified information feeds the web of deception and nurtures disinformation, all of which, is highly dangerous for the global populations. It poses a risk for those who decide to act against the corona virus based on false or misleading messages. Supporting and caring for others means more than just complying with the suggested sanitary regulations set by the different authorities in each country.
For UNESCO, civic responsibility and the guaranteeing of access to information means taking care of quality information. Foster habits that protect the responsible flow of data in the digital world. Pay attention to the content that each person receives and replicates from their mobile phones, in the form of audios, text chains or apparent journalistic news. Stay calm in the face of information bombing and be cautious - only share content that is verified by reliable sources of information. And above all, raise awareness.
UNESCO, as an organization that promotes freedom of expression and access to quality and evidence-based information, in partnership with UNDP, the organization will continue to launch a series of digital content with recommendations to support people in how to verify content they are receiving during the pandemic.
UNESCO invites the media, journalists, government agencies, organized civil societies and digital influencers to share among their audiences practices that promote verified management of the content circulating on social media.