United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday urged joint efforts to address the infodemic, mitigating the harm done to people by misinformation and disinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID-19 is not just a public health emergency — it is a communications emergency too,” Guterres said in a message to a World Health Organization event on infodemic management.
He noted that as the virus spread across the globe, “inaccurate and even dangerous messages proliferated wildly over social media, leaving people confused, misled and ill-advised.”
“The antidote lies in making sure that science-backed facts and health guidance circulate even faster, and reach people wherever they access information,” said the UN chief, adding this is even critical “as we work to build public confidence in the safety and efficacy of future COVID-19 vaccines.”
He also underscored the importance of fighting misinformation with truth by working with media partners, individuals, influencers and social media platforms.
“Only together in solidarity, with a well-informed public, will we emerge from this pandemic safe, and better,” he said.