In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the phenomenon of an ‘infodemic’ has escalated to a level that requires a coordinated response. An infodemic is an overabundance of information – some accurate and some not – occurring during an epidemic. It makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it. Even when people have access to high-quality information, there are still barriers they must overcome to take the recommended action. Like pathogens in epidemics, misinformation spreads further and faster and adds complexity to health emergency response.
An infodemic cannot be eliminated, but it can be managed. To respond effectively to infodemics, WHO calls for adaptation, development, validation and evaluation of new evidence-based measures and practices to prevent, detect and respond to mis- and disinformation.
In the context of this meeting, “infodemiology” is defined as the science of managing infodemics. The overall aim of this consultation is to take stock of relevant research and effective practices and define public health research needs in order to advance this field. The working language of the meeting will be English.
- Understand the multidisciplinary nature of infodemic management;
- Identify current examples and tools to understand, measure and control infodemics;
- Build a public health research agenda to direct focus and investment in this emerging scientific field; and
- Establish a community of practice and research.
- Experts from the fields of Epidemiology & Public Health; Applied Math & Data Science; Digital Health and Technology Applications; Social & Behavioral Science; Media Studies & Journalism; Marketing, UX & Design; Risk Communication and Community Engagement; Ethics & Governance and other relevant scientific disciplines and practices
- UN agencies
- Public health authorities