by James Corbett
April 18, 2020
It’s silent. It’s deadly. It’s spreading all around the globe. And, if you’re not careful, it’ll get you next!
The viral pandemic? No, silly! The viral infodemic.
Haven’t you heard? There’s a tsunami of fake news that’s coming to get you! And if you plebs don’t behave properly then your rulers are just going to have to shut down the internet for your own good.
If you haven’t heard the term “infodemic” yet, then lucky you. But trust me, you’re going to be hearing about this idea ad nauseum in the coming months, so you better get prepared.
So what is an infodemic, exactly? Good question. Let’s turn to everybody’s favorite global health agency, the World Health Organization, for that answer, shall we?
On February 2nd they released a situation report on the novel coronavirus outbreak that had a section on “Managing the 2019-nCoV ‘infodemic’.” This report helpfully explains that an infodemic is “an over-abundance of information – some accurate and some not – that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.”