COVID-19 information disorder: six types of harmful information during the pandemic in Europe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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COVID-19 information disorder : six types of harmful information during the pandemic in Europe. / Hansson, S.; Orru, K.; Torpan, S.; Bäck, A.; Kazemekaityte, A.; Meyer, S.F.; Ludvigsen, J.; Savadori, L.; Galvagni, A.; Pigrée, A.

In: Journal of Risk Research, 15.01.2021.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Harvard

Hansson, S, Orru, K, Torpan, S, Bäck, A, Kazemekaityte, A, Meyer, SF, Ludvigsen, J, Savadori, L, Galvagni, A & Pigrée, A 2021, 'COVID-19 information disorder: six types of harmful information during the pandemic in Europe', Journal of Risk Research. https://doi.org/10.1080/13669877.2020.1871058

APA

Hansson, S., Orru, K., Torpan, S., Bäck, A., Kazemekaityte, A., Meyer, S. F., Ludvigsen, J., Savadori, L., Galvagni, A., & Pigrée, A. (2021). COVID-19 information disorder: six types of harmful information during the pandemic in Europe. Journal of Risk Research. https://doi.org/10.1080/13669877.2020.1871058

Vancouver

Author

Hansson, S. ; Orru, K. ; Torpan, S. ; Bäck, A. ; Kazemekaityte, A. ; Meyer, S.F. ; Ludvigsen, J. ; Savadori, L. ; Galvagni, A. ; Pigrée, A. / COVID-19 information disorder : six types of harmful information during the pandemic in Europe. In: Journal of Risk Research. 2021.

Bibtex

@article{e457c144514246138421235355f8de11,
title = "COVID-19 information disorder: six types of harmful information during the pandemic in Europe",
abstract = "The outbreak of a novel coronavirus disease COVID-19 propelled the creation, transmission, and consumption of false information–unverified claims, misleading statements, false rumours, conspiracy theories, and so on–all around the world. When various official or unofficial sources issue erroneous, misleading or contradicting information during a crisis, people who are exposed to this may behave in ways that cause harm to the health and well-being of themselves or others, e.g., by not taking appropriate risk reducing measures or blaming or harassing vulnerable groups. To work towards a typology of informational content that may increase people{\textquoteright}s vulnerability in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, we explored 98 instances of potentially harmful information that spread in six European countries–France, Italy, Norway, Finland, Lithuania, and Estonia–between March and May 2020. We suggest that during the pandemic, exposure to harmful information may have made people more vulnerable in six ways: (1) by discouraging appropriate protective actions against catching/spreading the virus, (2) by promoting the use of false (or harmful) remedies against the virus, (3) by misrepresenting the transmission mechanisms of the virus, (4) by downplaying the risks related to the pandemic, (5) by tricking people into buying fake protection against the virus or into revealing their confidential information, and (6) by victimising the alleged spreaders of the virus by harassment/hate speech. The proposed typology can be used to guide the development of risk communication plans to address each of these information-related vulnerabilities.",
keywords = "Risk communication, coronavirus, disinformation, infodemic, misinformation, vulnerability",
author = "S. Hansson and K. Orru and S. Torpan and A. B{\"a}ck and A. Kazemekaityte and S.F. Meyer and J. Ludvigsen and L. Savadori and A. Galvagni and A. Pigr{\'e}e",
note = "Funding Information: The study was funded by the Horizon 2020 project BuildERS, grant agreement No 833496. Publisher Copyright: {\textcopyright} 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.",
year = "2021",
month = jan,
day = "15",
doi = "10.1080/13669877.2020.1871058",
language = "English",
journal = "Journal of Risk Research",
issn = "1366-9877",
publisher = "Taylor & Francis",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - COVID-19 information disorder

T2 - six types of harmful information during the pandemic in Europe

AU - Hansson, S.

AU - Orru, K.

AU - Torpan, S.

AU - Bäck, A.

AU - Kazemekaityte, A.

AU - Meyer, S.F.

AU - Ludvigsen, J.

AU - Savadori, L.

AU - Galvagni, A.

AU - Pigrée, A.

N1 - Funding Information: The study was funded by the Horizon 2020 project BuildERS, grant agreement No 833496. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

PY - 2021/1/15

Y1 - 2021/1/15

N2 - The outbreak of a novel coronavirus disease COVID-19 propelled the creation, transmission, and consumption of false information–unverified claims, misleading statements, false rumours, conspiracy theories, and so on–all around the world. When various official or unofficial sources issue erroneous, misleading or contradicting information during a crisis, people who are exposed to this may behave in ways that cause harm to the health and well-being of themselves or others, e.g., by not taking appropriate risk reducing measures or blaming or harassing vulnerable groups. To work towards a typology of informational content that may increase people’s vulnerability in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, we explored 98 instances of potentially harmful information that spread in six European countries–France, Italy, Norway, Finland, Lithuania, and Estonia–between March and May 2020. We suggest that during the pandemic, exposure to harmful information may have made people more vulnerable in six ways: (1) by discouraging appropriate protective actions against catching/spreading the virus, (2) by promoting the use of false (or harmful) remedies against the virus, (3) by misrepresenting the transmission mechanisms of the virus, (4) by downplaying the risks related to the pandemic, (5) by tricking people into buying fake protection against the virus or into revealing their confidential information, and (6) by victimising the alleged spreaders of the virus by harassment/hate speech. The proposed typology can be used to guide the development of risk communication plans to address each of these information-related vulnerabilities.

AB - The outbreak of a novel coronavirus disease COVID-19 propelled the creation, transmission, and consumption of false information–unverified claims, misleading statements, false rumours, conspiracy theories, and so on–all around the world. When various official or unofficial sources issue erroneous, misleading or contradicting information during a crisis, people who are exposed to this may behave in ways that cause harm to the health and well-being of themselves or others, e.g., by not taking appropriate risk reducing measures or blaming or harassing vulnerable groups. To work towards a typology of informational content that may increase people’s vulnerability in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, we explored 98 instances of potentially harmful information that spread in six European countries–France, Italy, Norway, Finland, Lithuania, and Estonia–between March and May 2020. We suggest that during the pandemic, exposure to harmful information may have made people more vulnerable in six ways: (1) by discouraging appropriate protective actions against catching/spreading the virus, (2) by promoting the use of false (or harmful) remedies against the virus, (3) by misrepresenting the transmission mechanisms of the virus, (4) by downplaying the risks related to the pandemic, (5) by tricking people into buying fake protection against the virus or into revealing their confidential information, and (6) by victimising the alleged spreaders of the virus by harassment/hate speech. The proposed typology can be used to guide the development of risk communication plans to address each of these information-related vulnerabilities.

KW - Risk communication

KW - coronavirus

KW - disinformation

KW - infodemic

KW - misinformation

KW - vulnerability

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85100203601&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/13669877.2020.1871058

DO - 10.1080/13669877.2020.1871058

M3 - Article

JO - Journal of Risk Research

JF - Journal of Risk Research

SN - 1366-9877

ER -