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The idea of a pandemic was just recently seared into everybody’s minds (rightly so, given the level of disruption caused by the reaction to Covid at personal/business/national level) – and now, building on that state of fear – we have a neologism to contend with.
It’s when saying something is a “pandemic” is just not good enough. And, when you want to be able to target multiple policies/media/persons at the same time.
Reports are already cropping up where this made-up word, “infodemic,” is used as if it means something. No quotes around it, either – and there’s talk about “managing” the situation, the way “global policymakers” -i.e., the WHO treaty negotiators – now see it.
Opponents will say that the UN agency has simply decided to play on the element of intimidation and fear here, by featuring the phrase front-and-center in its recent initiatives.
The most prominent one at this time, of course, is the WHO’s pandemic treaty/accord. It calls for pretty much everybody – to “take action.”
Without ever really going into explaining exactly what the previous pandemic was, how it was handled (justly or not so), whence it originated, and why – the UN’s WHO (World Health Organization) is now “preparing for the next one.”
Yet this is not a board game – billions of people’s well-being and livelihoods are supposed to depend on it, going forward.
But now, let’s take the threat of “infodemic” at face value, as those peddling the word would no doubt want us to.
It is this: primarily, a call to rally governments, researchers, media organizations, and tech platforms to take “stronger” action against “the new phenomenon.”
But what is it? “Too much information, including false or misleading information in digital and physical environments during a disease outbreak.”
Say what? Thus far the target was arbitrarily designated “misinformation” – but now “too much information” is also a problem? What does – and in what world – “too much information” even mean?
At this point, the UN and its agencies frankly make themselves look like dystopian trash.
But let’s not take any of this lightly. The intent, according to reports and “studies” they derive their narratives from, is for governments to “monitor the impact of misinformation on social media, respond with interventions that mitigate and protect against the harmful effects of infodemics (…) put out messages based on ‘actionable behavioral change.'”
It’s a veritable cesspool of regurgitated narratives endured by the world over the last several years – namely, “identify leading sources of misinformation, including superspreaders [media to] identify and debunk misinformation, [tech platforms to] monitor and address misinformation by reducing the distribution of false or misleading posts and guiding users to health information from credible sources.”
And then, how about, “the scientific community developing automated fact-checking processes.”