The world is experiencing an unprecedented crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While initiatives and actions of solidarity and dialogue are numerous, messages of hate and intolerance are spreading. Fake news, misinformation and disinformation are being used to target people, communities, countries, and research institutions. To help address these issues, the UNESCO Chair in Prevention of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism (Canada) is launching the free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) ‘From Hate to Hope: Building Understanding and Resilience’.
Youth are more likely to believe in conspiracies, as are Canadians living outside Quebec. Nearly one in ten Canadians believes in conspiracy theories surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, according to preliminary findings from a team of researchers at the Université de Sherbrooke. In addition, adherence to conspiracies appears to be related to psychosocial stressors.
The knock-on impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have been wide-ranging and far-reaching, touching everything from economies to health systems and social norms in every corner of the globe. Some of its most significant impacts have been in the area of education. Here is how the response is shaping up—plus our recommended online resources.
Registration is now open for “From Hate to Hope: Building Understanding and Resilience.” Our first massive open online course (MOOC). This first iteration will begin on May 4, 2020, and have a duration of five (5) weeks.
Uncertainty and fear are fertile ground for the imagination. Amidst the crisis, conspiracy theories and fake news flourish on the internet. And their popularity is skyrocketing. Should we worry about a toxic news pandemic?
“We’re not just fighting an epidemic; we’re also fighting an infodemic. Fake news spread faster and more easily than this virus, and is just as dangerous.” This was a statement by the Director-General of the World Health Organization in mid-February. “The situation is not new, of course. But what makes it so striking is its rapidity,” says Marie-Ève Carignan, a professor at the communications department of the Université de Sherbrooke.