UNESCO launches learning resources to counter COVID-19 conspiracy theories
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is launching new resources to counter fake news, The Jordan Times reported. UNESCO, in cooperation with the European Commission, launched a series of easily accessible visual learning resources to raise awareness of the existence and after-effects of conspiracy theories related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The resources also address how to recognize conspiracy theories, understand what drives them, refute them with facts and respond effectively to those who are spreading them,” UNESCO said.
In addition, the infographics will be widely spread on social media via the hashtag #ThinkBeforeSharing, UNESCO MIL CLICKS social media pages, and through the European Commission’s website on fighting disinformation. All information will be published in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
“Disinformation and conspiracy theories harm the health of our democracies – this has been made very clear in the context of a global pandemic. Citizens must be equipped with useful tools to recognize and debunk them,” said Vera Jourova, Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency.
The visual learning resources were developed as part of the UNESCO’s project on Media and Information Literacy and are based on the expert advice of Professor Michael Butter, author of the ‘Guide to Conspiracy Theories’, as well as authors of the ‘Conspiracy Theory Handbook’ Stephan Lewandowsky and John Cook.