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In the News March 30, 2021

Alexander Ruiz with Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security: National strategy to combat disinformation around COVID-19 and future pandemics

By the GeoTech Center

Alex Ruiz, a Fellow at the GeoTech Center, recently contributed to a report about combatting misinformation and disinformation in light of COVID-19. Titled “National Priorities to Combat Misinformation and Disinformation for COVID-19 and Future Public Health Threats: A Call for a National Strategy,” the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security report calls for a multi-stakeholder effort to tackle the issue. These include the government (policymakers, national security organizations, and public health agencies and institutions) at the federal, state, and local levels, social media platform owners and operators, news media organizations and journalists, scientists and public health researchers, and the public.

The report recommends the establishment of a non-partisan national commission and a strategy focused on four pillars of effort: “(1) intervene against false and damaging content as well as the sources propagating it, (2) promote and ensure the abundant presence and dissemination of factual information, (3) increase] the public’s resilience to misinformation and disinformation, and (4) ensure a whole-of-nation response through multisector and multiagency collaboration.” Given the complexity of the issue, the report authors discuss the need for stakeholders “to work together to balance constitutional freedoms, social media platform responsibility, the value of free-flowing information, and the dangers presented by misinformation and disinformation.”

Read the whole report at the link below.

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