Organized by the DiploLab in collaboration with the Canadian Embassy in France, the debate “COVID – Is Misinformation a Phantom Threat?” took place on May 14th via videoconference. Marie-Ève Carignan, the UNESCO-PREV Chair’s Head of Media Division and professor at the Université de Sherbrooke, participated in the discussion.
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.