Press Conference on Launch of "Pause" Misinformation Campaign

Preview Language:   English
29-Jun-2020 00:17:45
Virtual press conference by Melissa Fleming, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications on the launch of the "Pause": Misinformation Campaign.

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“One of the ways it [misinformation] is spreading is the way people are sharing”, Melissa Fleming, who oversees the UN’s global communications effort, said on the eve of the Pause campaign’s launch, chosen to coincide with Social Media Day.

“The idea of pause is: take care before you share. We hope that ‘take care before you share’, starts to be a social norm that people have in the back of their heads and that will enable a personal behavior change.”

The Pause campaign consists of videos, graphics and colourful gifs that stress sharing only trusted and accurate science-based social media content.

It is meant to get people thinking about misinformation, which is often packaged as being “more slick, more shareable” and full of “black and white statements that people who communicate responsibly, and rely on science, would not do because we have to communicate nuance”, Ms. Fleming said.

She noted that, for example, anti-vaccine groups are already coming out against a future COVID-19 vaccine.

The aim is to help stem the spread of inaccurate information about COVID-19 on social media, Ms. Fleming said, stressing that only platforms like Facebook or Twitter can truly stop the viral spread of fake news.

“We also need the platforms to work with us”, she said, adding that the UN is “in conversation” with such technology companies.

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