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The UN launches a new campaign against disinformation about COVID-19

ByMicheal Johnson

Oct 21, 2020

He General secretary The United Nations launched the campaign on Tuesday #HaveAPause, what are you looking for boost the fight against misinformation about the pandemic of the coronavirus.

In this campaign, António Guterres calls each person to stop to think for a moment before sharing any information online in order to avoid the spread of wrong messages that can go viral and have negative effects on the health and life of the population.

Guterres stressed in a message on his social networks that in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, “the wrong information can be deadly”, Urging to change the generalized behavior of spreading content without rhyme or reason.

“He promises to pause and thus helps stop the spread of disinformation“, He said.

The new campaign is part of the initiative Verified (Verified), which since last May has been disseminating accessible health messages and backed by science, in addition to sharing signs of global solidarity during the pandemic.

Behavior change

#HazAPause is the first campaign that attempts to change behavior through the mobilization of experts, researchers, governments and influential figures, members of civil society, companies, regulators and the media with a single purpose: increase knowledge of users of social networks to identify erroneous information and not share it.

The basis of the campaign are studies that indicate what to do a short pause decreases the propensity share alarming or emotional material which, in turn, reduces the spread of misinformation.

The objective of #HazAPause is reach one billion people in the world by the end of December. With the launch, well-known figures and influencers will promise to pause and urge their followers to do the same.

The head of the UN Department of Global Communication considered that COVID-19 is not just a health crisis, but also an emergency in the world of communications.

“It is increasingly clear that we can’t stop the pandemic without fighting misinformation online, ”Melissa Fleming said, adding that each and every one of us can help break the chain of disinformation by pausing before spreading a message.

He acknowledged that individual measures will not end by themselves with wrong information and explained that for this reason, the UN recommends that social media platforms implement changes that allow block or warn when a message is wrong, in addition to increasing its science-based content.