The United Nations has reportedly announced a new mission on May 21 to bring millions of people together around the world to counter misinformation related to coronavirus pandemic. According to the reports, UN is aiming to spread fact-based accurate and authentic information and advice to their networks of family, friends and followers. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres reportedly said that virtual spaces are not safe as lies, fear and hate is spread. Guterres added that misnformation spreads online, through messaging apps and person to person communication. He also added that its creators use savvy production and distribution methods.
Guterres reporteldy said that scientists and institutions like UN should have a wider range to reach people with accurate facts and figures so that they can trust to counter the misinformation and announced that UN is launching an initiative called “Verified.” According to the reports, UN is urging people around the world to sign up to become “information volunteers” also called “digital first responders” at https://www.shareverified.com to counter the spread of fake information. The UN further said that Verified initiative is a collaboration with Purpose, one of the world’s leading social mobilization organizations and is supported by the IKEA Foundation and Luminate funded by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay.
Guterres warned earlier that extremist groups are taking advantage of COVID-19 lock downs to intensify social media efforts to spread hatred and recruit young people who are spending more time online. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, he said, one of every five young people was not getting an education, training or working, and one of every four was affected by violence or conflict. And he lamented that every year, 12 million girls become mothers when they are still children. Guterres told a U.N. Security Council meeting on youth, peace and security that “these frustrations and, frankly, failures to address them by those in power today, fuel declining confidence in political establishments and institutions.”
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