Migrants and Misinformation During Covid-19: What You Need to Know

Migrants and Misinformation During Covid-19

There is an astounding amount of misinformation about Covid-19, particularly for migrants. Learn more about the issue of migrants and misinformation here.

Do you know what you can trust when it comes to Covid-19 news?

Covid-19 has been the number one news item around the world in 2020. But there is an astounding amount of misinformation about Covid-19, particularly for migrants.

Read on to learn more about the issue of migrants and misinformation here.

Covid-19

Since March 2020, Covid-19 has spread to almost every country and territory in the world. Quarantines and supply chain disruption have had major impacts on the lives of most of the world’s population. For most countries, this level of disruptions hasn’t been seen since World War II.

Coronavirus isn’t going anywhere. There are now over 20 million confirmed cases and numbers continuing to rise. This means the strain on governments and populations is only going to increase.

The Age of Misinformation

This is the age of digital misinformation. It is no surprise that an event as huge as Covid-19 has its fair share of fake news. But the the ‘infodemic’, as the WHO have called it, is larger than anything seen before. Almost everyone in the world has been exposed to some sort of misinformation.

Digital media has allowed misinformation to flow far faster, and from more sources, than ever before. To start with this was limited to incorrect medical advice, symptoms and treatments. But the scope of the misinformation spread quickly. Fanciful conspiracy theories began to take root in certain social media circles.

Despite the best efforts of medical professionals and internet moderators, fake news continues to spread.

Migrants and Covid-19

Migrants have long been the targets of misinformation in digital and traditional media. This is a situation that that only increased during the pandemic.

Far-right and anti-migrant groups have seized on the pandemic to further their agenda. Groups have returned to the ‘dirty foreigner’ trope to incite anti-migrant feeling. References to migrants spreading Covid-19 have become common.
These ideas have spread around social media echo-chambers, where online moderators are unable to put a stop to them.

But misinformation doesn’t just effect perceptions of migrants.

Covid-19 in Migrant Populations

Migrant and refugee populations often live in conditions that help the spread of disease. Covid-19 spreads between groups living in close quarters. This increases the chances of migrants catching the disease, adding further stigma.

The close knit migrant groups are also the perfect targets for misinformation. Migrant Group message chats and social media have become hot-beds for misinformation. Bogus treatments and preventative measures have spread like wildfire.

This is even more damaging in populations where trust in authority is already low. Attempts to intervene and clarify the facts are met with skepticism. To combat this, engagement with migrant populations needs to be managed with help from source and destination community experts like Statt consulting.

Covid-19, Migrants and Misinformation

Coronavirus has become a major topic of digital misinformation campaigns. Migrants have been both targets and consumers of misinformation. The only way to tackle this issue is with careful management and the help of migrants and experts.

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About

Statt Consulting was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Singapore. We work primarily across Africa, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region. Statt Consulting is led by Mr Luke Falkner and Ms Renee Le Cussan, and supported by a highly skilled and experienced global team.