The United Nations has launched a major initiative called #PledgetoPause to help stop the spread of misinformation online and to encourage people around the globe to share information that is based on science.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the wrong information can be deadly. Take the pledge to pause and help stop the spread of misinformation,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said in launching the #PledgetoPause campaign.
The Pause campaign is the latest element of Verified, a UN initiative that was launched in May 2020 to counter misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic spreading around the world. Verified aims to encourage people to help people to spot misinformation and refrain from sharing it with others.
“COVID-19 is not just a health crisis, but a communications emergency as well. When misinformation spreads, the public loses trust and too often makes decisions that hamper the public response and even their own lives,” said Melissa Fleming, UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications. “It is increasingly clear that we cannot successfully tackle the pandemic without also addressing online misinformation. Each and every one of us can help break the chain of misinformation by pausing before we share.”
The #PledgetoPause is encouraging a wide range of gobal actors, including experts, governments, influencers, civil society, regulators, media among others to unite behind the campaign.