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United Nations anti-misinformation push spreads offline to new poster campaign

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The United Nations is continuing to roll out its anti-misinformation campaign called “Verified” with posters that have been spotted on the subway in Australia, according to photos submitted to Rebel News.

The campaign was launched back in 2020 and was intended to reach millions globally and in several languages through so-called “information volunteers.” These volunteers will receive content to debunk in their communities, and the verified information will be posted online and in traditional platforms.

Related: How the term “misinformation” has been weaponized as an online censorship tool amid the coronavirus pandemic

Ezra Levant, who reported on the campaign’s move to the subway said, “Based on what you know, do you trust, say, the United Nations? I can’t even spit the question out without laughing. Because that’s who paid for these ads bizarrely. The United Nations is paying for ads in Australian subway cars about not trusting things online.”

“We cannot cede our virtual spaces to those who traffic in lies, fear and hate,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during the launch of the campaign.

The UN Sec-Gen has previously raised concerns about the increase in hate speech, discrimination, and xenophobia stemming from the pandemic and spreading on social media.

The campaign is in collaboration with social mobilization organization Purpose, civil society groups, the media, and social media influencers.

“Purveyors of misinformation are creating story lines and slick content that are filling information voids where science has no answers,” U.N. communications chief Melissa Fleming said at the campaign’s virtual launch. “They offer promises of cures that have no evidence of benefit or may even be harmful. They are savvy about using narratives that link to people’s fears and appeal to people’s need for answers or need to find a culprit.”

She added: “People are hungry for information they can trust and they are turning towards institutions and scientists in ways we have not seen before.”

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