At the height of the pandemic, the United Nations recruited over 100,000 “digital first responders’ to push the establishment narrative on COVID via social media.
The revelation actually slipped out in October 2020 during a World Economic Forum podcast called ‘Seeking a cure for the infodemic’, although it is only going viral on Twitter today.
In the podcast, Melissa Fleming, head of global communications for the United Nations, explains how the COVID pandemic and lockdowns created a “communications crisis” in addition to a public health emergency.
Fleming acknowledged that in order to fight so-called “misinformation” about the pandemic, the UN tapped up 110,000 people to amplify their messaging across social media.
“So far, we’ve recruited 110,000 information volunteers, and we equip these information volunteers with the kind of knowledge about how misinformation spreads and ask them to serve as kind of ‘digital first-responders’ in those spaces where misinformation travels,” Fleming stated.