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Infodemic is a portmanteau of "information" and "epidemic" that typically refers to a rapid and far-reaching spread of both accurate and inaccurate information about something, such as a disease. As facts, rumors, and fears mix and disperse, it becomes difficult to learn essential information about an issue.
The United Nations and the World Health Organization began using the term "infodemic" during the Sars-COV-2 crisis as early as 31 March 2020.
A Royal Society and British Academy joint report published in October 2020 said of infodemics that: "COVID-19 vaccine deployment faces an infodemic with misinformation often filling the knowledge void, characterised by: (1) distrust of science and selective use of expert authority, (2) distrust in pharmaceutical companies and government, (3) straightforward explanations, (4) use of emotion; and, (5) echo chambers," and to combat the ill and "inoculate the public" endorsed the Singaporean POFMA legislation, which criminalises misinformation.
A blue-ribbon working group on infodemics, from the Forum on Information and Democracy, produced a report in November 2020, highlighting 250 recommendations, to protect democracies, human rights, and health.
- Rothkopf, D. J. (14 May 2003). "SARS also spurs an 'information epidemic'". Newsday. ProQuest 279705520. Retrieved 2020-12-12. Unknown parameter
- "Words We're Watching: 'Infodemic'". www.merriam-webster.com.
- "UN tackles 'infodemic' of misinformation".
- COVID-19 vaccine deployment: Behaviour, ethics, misinformation and policy strategies (PDF). Royal Society. 21 October 2020. Search this book on
- Knapton, Sarah (10 November 2020). "Spreading anti-vaxx myths 'should be made a criminal offence'". Telegraph Media Group Limited.
- "250 recommendations on how to stop "infodemics"". Forum Information & Democracy. 12 November 2020. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
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