The United Nations launched an initiative called “Verified” on Wednesday, which aims to combat growing disinformation and false news about the coronavirus pandemic.
“Verified” will offer information in three areas: science “to save lives”, solidarity “to promote local and global cooperation” and solutions “to advocate for support for affected populations.”
“We cannot cede our virtual spaces to those who traffic in lies, fear and hatred,” United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said in a statement.
“The disinformation,” he explained, “spreads online, in messaging applications and from one person to another. Its creators use intelligent methods of production and distribution. To counter it, scientists and institutions like the United Nations need to reach people with information. precise that you can trust. ”
To guarantee the success of “Verified”, the United Nations called on the world population to register as “volunteer informants” to share the information generated by the initiative among their relatives and acquaintances.
Described as digital emergency teams, these volunteers will receive a packet of verified content daily to easily share and combat false notifications or fill in information gaps.
The “Verified” initiative will partner with influencers, civil society, business, the media and social networks to distribute its content and “to eradicate hatred and harmful claims about COVID-19.”
“In many countries, the disinformation that emerges through digital channels is hindering the public health response and causing unrest,” UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications Melissa Fleming said in the statement.
“There are disturbing efforts,” he added, “to exploit the crisis to advance nativism or to attack minority groups, which could worsen as pressure on societies grows and the economic and social consequences come.”