Inside Story

How to fight a pandemic of misinformation?

Health officials are battling against online conspiracy theories, rumours and untested claims over COVID-19.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced us all to take a step back from our daily routines.

We now spend more time at home, working remotely and relying on the internet for the latest updates on the virus.

But there has also been an unprecedented rise in misinformation – online and on social media platforms.

Everything from so-called miracle cures, the origins of the virus and even the existence of the virus itself have been questioned.

Conspiracy theories have even led to injuries and deaths as people believe false and dangerous rumours posing as medical advice.

And discrimination, stigmatisation, racism and hate speech have also increased because of these campaigns.

So, how do we fight this? And is some of the misinformation being put out deliberately?

Presenter: Folly Bah Thibault


Guy Berger – Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Dr Hanan Abdul Rahim – Dean of the College of Health Sciences at Qatar University

Omar Suleiman – Founder and president of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research