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AFP partners with African alliance to fight Covid-19 misinformation

AFP is part of a new African alliance to combat misinformation around the Covid-19 pandemic and other health emergencies which was launched Thursday, December 3rd by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

 

Social media and online sites have been filled with a deluge of COVID-19-related information since the pandemic began. Information about the virus has been viewed over 270 billion times online and mentioned almost 40 million times on Twitter and web-based news sites in the 47 countries of the WHO African Region between February and November 2020, according to UN Global Pulse, the United Nations’ Secretary-General’s initiative on big data and artificial intelligence. 

The Africa Infodemic Response Alliance, the first initiative of its kind, brings together 14 international and regional organizations and fact-checking groups with expertise in data and behavioural science, epidemiology, research, digital health and communications to detect, disrupt and counter damaging health misinformation. 

The Alliance’s member organizations are the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the United Nations Verified initiative, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Global Pulse and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Participating bodies include Africa Check, Agence France-Presse Fact Check, PesaCheck, Dubawa and Meedan.

Since its launch in 2017, AFP’s digital investigation unit has grown to become the largest global network of dedicated journalists in this field. AFP now has more than 90 journalists investigating online content and covering 80 countries. They work in French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Polish, Catalan, Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Malaysia, Thai, Slovak, Czech, Dutch, Burmese, Serbian, Romanian and German.