23 young people from the UK, Ireland and Romania have formed a new group to root out misinformation and fake news about COVID-19 in a bid to stop it spreading online and doing harm. The Youth Against Misinformation group will help track and record evidence of misinformation to help analyse emerging trends and create a real-time picture of how fake news about COVID-19 is spreading online, as well as report these posts to social media platforms to have them removed.
Trained and supported by youth organisation Restless Development and the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), the group of volunteers will also educate social media users who are inadvertently sharing misinformation by pointing them towards trusted sources such as the World Health Organisation.
UK, A MEMBER OF YOUTH AGAINST MISINFORMATION, SAID:
“I experienced the impact of misinformation, fuelled by racism and xenophobia, first hand during the ebola outbreak in 2016. Being black and part African, people accused me of having the virus and spreading it around. I jumped at the chance to take a stand against people spreading misinformation. We want more young people to join our efforts, so if you want to help stop the spread of dangerous misinformation online, then get in touch.”
*Name has been changed to protect the volunteer’s identity