A cross-national diagnosis of COVID-19 infodemics
As part of the #digiloglounge discussion series, scientist Dr. Chung-hong Chan talks to Sabine Faller about misinformation, disinformation and conspiracy theories in times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 has shown that not only pandemics themselves can pose a major threat to societies, but also accompanying »infodemics« – that is, the (deliberate or involuntary) spread of misinformation and disinformation, including full-blown conspiracy theories.
Particularly when dealing with scientific topics, the assessment of which requires expert knowledge, it can be difficult for any of us to correctly classify the information that is circulating. This in turn opens up a wide margin for alternative facts or unjustified questioning of scientific and political recommendations for action.
While in other contexts, such misinformation and conspiracy theories are often dismissed as »harmless« or, at worst, »weird«, the context of pandemic response, which requires the social cooperation of all members of society, reveals their destructive potential. Like viruses, information can spread uncontrollably through a population and might thus cause immense damage.
Do the social, political and cultural conditions of different countries play a role in this scenario? In his talk, Dr. Chung-hong Chan will present exciting studies on how COVID-19 misinformation manifests differently in Germany, France, the US, India, and China.
The event is part of the #digiloglounge discussion series. Once a month, experts from digilog@bw will give an insight into their digital research topics and answer questions in the video livestream!
The event was held in English.