Misinformation around COVID-19 is causing real damage.
It is being called the parallel pandemic. That’s why we’re supporting young people to take on misinformation.
Fake cures and preventative treatments are putting people’s health at risk. Misconceptions and misinformation about contraction and transmission are aiding the spread. And conspiracy theories about the origin of the virus are stoking hatred and division.
This work will bring more peace and truth to worrying families and friends during this stressful and intense time.Sara, a Youth against misinformation volunteer.
In partnership with the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), our Youth Against Misinformation group helped track and record evidence of misinformation to help analyse emerging trends and create a real-time picture of how fake news about COVID-19 is spreading.
Youth Against Misinformation is youth power in action.Rosanne Palmer-White,
Our trained volunteers reported posts to social media platforms to have them removed and challenged their complicity in allowing this dangerous information to travel. They created a Twitter Account to continue to report misinformation and amplify their impact.
After the Youth Against Misinformation Programme:
Over 8 months, volunteers were trained and supported in gaining key skills like:
- Content creation
- Online conflict management
- Effective communication
- Mentoring and Leadership
- Strategic social media engagement
We released several action reports with research and data gathered by volunteers through the Youth Against Misinformation programme.
MalgorithmHow Instagram’s algorithm publishes misinformation and hate to millions during the pandemic.
#WilltoActHow social media giants have failed to live up to their claims on the Coronavirus ‘infodemic’
Failure to ActHow tech giants continue to defy calls to rein in vaccine misinformation
Youth Against Misinformation launched in April 2020 in response to the growing Covid-19 misinformation pandemic online. The objectives of the initiative were to fight the Covid-19 misinfodemic, empower young people to balance the narrative in online spaces and support other groups to tackle Covid-19 misinformation online by identifying new trends.
Restless Development strives to unlock youth power everywhere and ensure young people can lead change while growing as leaders themselves. We do this by creating environments where young people can learn, be creative and shape our programmes, as well as ensuring that they build useful skills to better develop their leadership, activism and employment opportunities. Feedback from volunteers involved in this programme has shown that 100% feel empowered to help stop the spread of dangerous Covid-19 misinformation while over 95% agree that their work has had impact in achieving the goals of the programme.
The safety and security of staff and volunteers is of paramount importance to Restless Development; the young volunteers involved in Youth Against Misinformation have been fully trained and supported to identify and report Covid-19 and anti-vaccine misinformation, including setting up new email and social media accounts. All volunteers in the Youth Against Misinformation programme received extensive safeguarding training, including how to protect their online safety, had weekly debriefs with a Restless Development staff member and also had a team leader in their group to support them while undertaking the research to ensure their ongoing health and wellbeing. Volunteers’ identities have been kept anonymous throughout the campaign to protect them from online abuse.