Five Steps to Combat the Infodemic

Kornbluh, Karen; Goodman, Ellen P.

Access to reliable information is crucial for a democracy to function, but in the middle of a pandemic its importance is especially evident. The World Health Organization is warning of an “infodemic” of false information on the coronavirus.

We found that of the top ten outlets that repeatedly share false content, eight out of ten are pushing misleading or outright false articles about coronavirus, with headlines such as “STUDY: 26 Chinese Herbs Have a ‘High Probability’ of Preventing Coronavirus Infection” and “Why coronavirus is a punishment from God that should lead to repentance.”

We offer a Five-Point Plan for how policymakers and platforms should address the coronavirus “infodemic” information right now.