False information about the new coronavirus is a big threat to containing the pandemic but governments must not use 'fake news' as an excuse to limit freedom of expression.
The recognition that COVID-19 is accompanied by an equally alarming “infodemic” has added a level of complexity to the situation. What are the consequences of this avalanche of information?
A young school boy running past a mural in Soweto, South Africa.
Attempting to defeat these folk theories with science achieved little; the myth busters of the AIDS epidemic were talking past those they were trying to convince.
Twitter's efforts to label misinformation during the US primaries haven't met with success. So how do we sift useful coronavirus information from wrong or downright dangerous untruths?
The proliferation of smart devices including healthcare devices means the health system is vulnerable to cyber attacks.
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The coronavirus pandemic lays bare the many vulnerabilities created by society’s dependence on the internet. Watch the video to learn more about these issues.
Followers of the QAnon movement, shown here at a 2018 rally in Pennsylvania for President Donald Trump, use social platforms to spread conspiracy theories. False information from the QAnon community about the coronavirus pandemic is a public health hazard.
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
QAnon refers to the online community that believes in conspiracy theories about Donald Trump and the so-called deep state, and is spreading harmful misinformation about COVID-19.
Facebook, the least trusted tech company, has taken the lead in fighting coronavirus misinformation.
AP Photo/Ben Margot
Facebook, Google and Twitter are stepping up to block misinformation and promote accurate information about the coronavirus. Their track records on self-policing are poor. The results so far are mixed.
When you share information online, do it responsibly.
Here's what to watch out for, so you can protect yourself – and your social circles – from lies, half-truths and misleading spins on current events.
The pandemic is increasing society’s reliance on digital connections.
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Much of the world is moving online in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Society's newly increased dependence on the internet is bringing the need for good cyber policy into sharp relief.
FOX News host Sean Hannity (pictured here in 2018) gave credibility to a tweet he read out lout on his popular syndicated radio show, which called COVID-19 a fraud “to spread panic in the populace, manipulate the economy and suppress dissent.”
Why have conspiracy theories so easily circulated during the COVID-19 pandemic? What do these theories tell us about societies and what challenges do they present?
On the internet, anyone can express their views, like they can in Speakers’ Corner in London – it’s up to the audience to guard against disinformation.
J. A. Hampton/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
A scholar who has reviewed the efforts of nations around the world to protect their citizens from foreign interference says there is no magic solution, but there's plenty to learn and do.
How can you tell the news from the noise?
As the 2020 elections near and disinformation campaigns ramp up, an expert on media literacy offers advice you can use to develop habits to exert more conscious control over your news intake.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama uses social media as a way to reach constituents directly.
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New laws in Albania show one approach to dealing with disinformation – and highlight some pitfalls of selective regulation.
Exposing people to likely disinformation campaigns about bushfire causes will help inoculate them.
The best way to inoculate the public against climate disinformation campaigns is to tell them what's coming.
A targeted, coordinated online campaign has tried to mislead the public. While the myths have been debunked, the culpable parties remain unknown.
We found about 300 suspicious Twitter accounts, which we suspect included a high proportion of bots and trolls pushing the #ArsonEmergency narrative.
Who’s manipulating what you know before you vote?
Information warfare has gone global. Here are some recent campaigns, and a couple of ideas about how to fight back.
Help catch online bots.
Members of the research team that wrote the software that unmasked thousands of Twitter bots explain the next phase of their work: getting the public involved in the fight against disinformation.
What people read online could really disrupt society and politics.
The Russians won’t be alone in spreading disinformation in 2020. Their most likely imitator will be Iran. Also, Instagram could get even more infected with intentional misinformation than it has been.
A recent study has found that many Obama supporters didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 US election because of the spread of fake news.
Human rights activists, legal experts and others fear these laws have the potential to be misused to stifle free speech or unintentionally block legitimate online posts and websites.
Digital literacy movements require collaboration between the government, social media platforms and the public.
Collaborations between the government, communities, and social media platforms are essential to establish a successful national digital literacy movement