COVID-19 Infodemic Study

As the COVID-19 started traveling across the World from Wuhan, China, The World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a pandemic. However, the speed of the spread of the COVID-19 has been surpassed by a wide margin by the information pandemic- called infodemic by WHO- in relation to the COVID-19 on a global as well as national levels. Social media is considered as the main purveyor and processor of the infodemic. Bangladesh is no exception. This study conceptualizes Infodemic, following Wardle and Derakhshan (2017), as mis-information, dis-information and mal-information. In this conceptualization, mis-information means creating, producing and distributing false/inaccurate/misleading information without any malafide intention; dis-information refers to false/fabricated information created, produced and distributed with a malafide intention; whereas mal-information denotes genuine information but not for public consumption with an intention to cause harms. This study will explore the extent of the COVID-19 infodemic in Bangladesh through a desktop/smartphone research. Attempt will be made to understand how this mis-dis-mal information are consumed by netizens and what are their implications. Also the justifications for a MIL strategy will be examined. It is expected that the outcome of this research will lead to containing harmful impact of future infodemics.