Radu on Fighting the “Infodemic”
“The first months of the pandemic have shown that countering disinformation online has become as important as ensuring much needed medical equipment and supplies for health workers,” our Fellow, Roxana Radu writes in her article “Fighting the ‘Infodemic’: Legal Responses to COVID-19 Disinformation”, published by Social Media + Society.
As she argues, “since the start of the pandemic, national legislation meant to discourage the creation and spread of misinformation also served to create the conditions under which it is more likely for it to flourish by undermining legitimate journalism and eroding trust in institutions of authority,”
The article explores the short and potential long-term effects of newly passed legislation in various countries directly targeting COVID-19 disinformation on the media, whether traditional or digital. Based on comparative legal analysis, the article provides a timely discussion of intended and unintended consequences of such legal responses to the “infodemic,” reflecting on a basic set of safeguards needed to preserve trust in online information.