UN agencies urge member states to take action against infodemic

The UN and its specialised organisations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Education, Science, and Culture Organization (UNESCO), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), UN Global Pulse, and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC), have issued a joint statement in which they call on member states to develop and implement action plans to manage the world’s infodemic. The statement notes that COVID-19 is the first pandemic in history in which technology and social media are being used to keep people safe and informed, while at the same time the same technology also amplifies an infodemic that undermines the global response to and jeopardises measures to contain the pandemic. The organisations ask member states to promote the timely dissemination of accurate information based on science and evidence to all communities, and in particular to high-risk groups. Furthermore, they called on all other stakeholders, including media and social media platforms through which mis- and disinformation are disseminated, to respond to the infodemic.