08/10/2020Šimon Pinkas, Project Assistant at Prague Security Studies Institute
The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has become a security challenge of global significance, one not limited to the medical dimension only. As Tedros A. Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organization Director-General, pointed out during the annual Munich Security Conference, the COVID-19 pandemic is accompanied by so-called “infodemics”. This term describes an upsurge in information related to the pandemic, of which a significant part is factually incorrect or outright manipulative. Infodemics can have a considerable impact on the ability of states to tackle the disease as pollution of the information space contributes to the hardships related to the governments’ ability to communicate effectively with its citizens. Without such communication, however, confused and scared citizens are likely to look for information on their own and become exposed to conspirators or alarmist voices.