India supports UN initiative to stop spread of COVID-19 misinformation, fake news

New York, Jun 30 (PTI) India is supporting a global initiative by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that aims to stop the spread of misinformation and fake news related to coronavirus on social media and has also co-authored a cross-regional statement to fight the “infodemic” or the manipulated information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We support @antonioguterres UN Communications Response initiative #VERIFIED and call for global action to fight #infodemic in times of #COVID19,” India’s Permanent Mission to the UN tweeted.

India, along with Australia, Chile, France, Georgia, Indonesia, Latvia, Lebanon, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Senegal and South Africa co-authored a cross-regional statement on infodemic and so far 132 countries have joined the statement that focuses on the need to spread fact-based content to counter misinformation on coronavirus.

The UN had launched ‘Verified’, an initiative to combat the growing scourge of COVID-19 misinformation by increasing the volume and reach of trusted, accurate information.

Through the initiative, the UN is calling on people around the world to “pause” before sharing content that may be false or have misinformation on social media.

The pause campaign is launching Tuesday, coinciding with Social Media Day, and consists of videos, graphics and colourful gifs that stress sharing only trusted and accurate science-based social media content.

“Fake news is causing global harm. Misinformation spreading around the world is hampering our ability to make progress on many of the world’s most pressing issues: from fighting the pandemic, to the struggle for racial justice and the climate emergency,” the Pause campaign says.

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