As the corona pandemic starts to retreat and countries are starting to open their economies, false stories, hoaxes and manipulative stories related to COVID-19 are spreading like wildfire. Viral videos, claims of dark conspiracies and promises of miraculous treatments reach the all-time high. While some hoped that the global pandemic would increase the trust in facts and science, the opposite seems to be happening right before our eyes.
• What are the main push and pull factors driving the spread of such false theories and narratives?
• What are the vulnerable spots in our societies and how to close them?
• Is there any coordination between state and non-state actors?
• How should the EU and its member states protect their citizens from the information viruses?
• What impact would the infodemic have on the new EU digital services directive, if any?
Naja Bentzen, Policy Analyst, European Parliament Research Service, Brussels
Naďa Kovalčíková, Program Manager, Alliance for Securing Democracy, GMF, Brussels
Peter Kreko, Director, Political Capital Institute, Budapest
Miroslava Sawiris, Research Fellow, Democracy & Resilience Programme, GLOBSEC