Launch of "Verified" Initiative

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21-May-2020 00:17:07
UN launches new initiative to fight COVID-19 misinformation through ‘digital first responders’.

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A new UN initiative called “Verified” aims to push back against the tide of lies and hate that has risen in tandem with the COVID-19 pandemic, by empowering people worldwide to share accurate information to help save lives and promote global solidarity.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres launched Verified to create a cadre of “digital first responders” to increase the volume and reach of trusted, accurate information surrounding the crisis.

Under Verified, information will be provided around three themes: science – to save lives; solidarity – to promote local and global cooperation; and solutions – to advocate for support for populations that have been impacted by COVID-19.

Verified will be led by the UN’s Department of Global Communications, which is home to UN News.

It is a collaboration with Purpose, one of the world’s leading social mobilization organizations, and is supported by the IKEA Foundation and Luminate.

Melissa Fleming, who heads the UN communications department, observed that in many countries, misinformation spread via digital channels is impeding pandemic response and stirring unrest.

“There are disturbing efforts to exploit the crisis to advance nativism or to target minority groups, which could worsen as the strain on societies grows and the economic and social fallout kicks in”, she added.

“The Verified initiative will also work to address this trend with hopeful content that celebrates local acts of humanity, the contributions of refugees and migrants, and makes the case for global cooperation.”

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UN NEWS
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