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COVID-19 pandemic and the accuracy of information

COVID-19 pandemic: tough times for humanity, tough times for the accuracy of information, too. Within the context of the adjustments to the new demands generated by the pandemic, INHOPE's Greek hotline SafeLine's members decided to start processing reports related to COVID-19 fake news. Despite the fact that fake news had never been a type of illegal content that SafeLine was undertaking, during this period it’s the first time that SafeLine processes reports which refer to posts or publications on Facebook and Instagram that relate to Coronavirus fake news and can easily end up being dangerous for public health. Specifically, as a trusted flagger, SafeLine reports to Facebook and Instagram COVID-19 misinformation content in order for posts that include false claims about the pandemic which can result in imminent physical harm to be removed. Such information can include for example false claims related to treatment, cures, or even the pandemic’s severity.

At the same time, it must be pointed out that the Greek Safer Internet Center has been dedicated during the last years in highlighting the fake news issue in the age of technology. Through webinars and informative material, the Greek SIC provides appropriate advice and signs of not reliable online publications, in order for the general public to be able to distinguish fake news from accurate information. The “fake news” phenomenon has also been approached by the Greek SIC through the elaboration of research on 14.000 students in Greece about their online habits.

As for the crucial period we are all going through, the users can refer to the Greek SIC’s website for tips to deal with COVID-19 misinformation, where a list of official pages that people can consult in order to extract accurate information on the matter is also available.

COVID-19 pandemic and the accuracy of information
15.04.2020 - by SafeLine
Photo by SafeLine, INHOPE, European Commission
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Through webinars and informative material, the Greek SIC provides appropriate advice and signs of not reliable online publications.

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