Countering Misinformation During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The “Verified” Initiative of the UN

Kurtuluş Abdulhayoğlu B.

ISA Annual Convention 2021, 6 - 09 April 2021, pp.1

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • Page Numbers: pp.1


While social media platforms have become indispensable tools of reaching information in our daily lives; digital diplomacy has gained great emphasis and states, IGOs and NGOs have increasingly inclined to communicate with citizens and international audiences through digital channels. This trend has boomed during the pandemic. The need for accurate and trusted information in time of COVID-19 has led the United Nations to launch a new initiative called “Verified”. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres notes; since misinformation spreads online, in messaging apps and person to person, scientists and institutions like the UN need to reach people with facts and reliable information to counter it. “Verified” is designed to build a group of “digital first responders”, in other words information volunteers that are encouraged to sign up in order to receive a daily feed of verified content that they can share on social media. Conducted by the UN’s Department of Global Communications, “Verified” aims to contribute saving lives and also prevent unrest and social outburst by eliminating fake news or rumours. This work will discuss how the UN is covering the communication aspect of the pandemic crisis and analyze the role of the project as a digital diplomacy medium of the organization.