For a Human-Centered AI

Covid19 Infodemics Observatory follow up

April 21, 2020

Manlio De Domenico and Pierluigi Sacco participated to the World Health Organization ad-hoc technical consultation on managing the COVID-19 infodemic, held on 7–8 April 2020

The 2019 corona virus disease (COVID-19) epidemic and response has been accompanied by a massive ‘infodemic’ – an over-abundance of information – some accurate and some not – that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.

Due to the high demand for timely and trustworthy information about COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) has established the Information Network for Epidemics (EPI-WIN) that unites technical and social media teams working closely to disseminate and amplify the evidence-based information about COVID-19, and to track and respond to misinformation, myths and rumours.

The aim of the technical consultation was to develop an infodemic response framework to guide targeted interventions to promote dissemination of reliable information about COVID-19, and reduce misinformation, rumors and myths about COVID-19.

The discussion raised awareness of the volume of information on the Internet; and explored perceptions of segments of society and health care workers with regard to the use of qualified sources for health decision-making; but also made recommendations that facilitate strengthening health worker capacities and institutional competencies related to digital literacy.

The consultation was brought in a multidisciplinary team of scientists, public health decision-makers, medical journalists, technology and social media platforms, and civil society to address interventions and solutions.

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